Charlotte Gray is Canada’s doyenne of popular history. Over the past 15 years, she has breathed life into the stories of E. Pauline Johnson, Alexander Graham Bell, Susannah Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill, the gold-diggers of the Yukon, Nellie McClung, and Isabel King, daughter of William Lyon Mackenzie and mother of William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Now, Charlotte turns her prodigious talent to the Masseys, one of Canada’s most prominent families, embroiled in a murder scandal almost a hundred years ago.
The Massey Murder: A Maid, her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Nation, due for release this September, examines the 1915 death of Charles Massey – shot dead by his maid in the Toronto street where he lived – and the subsequent trial. In it, Charlotte combines history with mystery as she unravels one of the most fascinating true crime stories of the century.
“Gray is one of those rare authors who writes with equally sympathetic understanding of both men and women, free of judgmental assumptions or home-team boosterism,” wrote George Fetherling in The Globe and Mail.
Sisters in the Wilderness, the story of those iconic immigrant sisters, Susannah Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill, is perhaps Charlotte’s most beloved book. “Her writing is crisp but not lavish; her insights are sharp,” writes Mark Abley in The Times Literary Supplement. “What distinguishes this book is – a most enviable quality in any biography – a superb trustworthiness…born out of intelligence and sympathy alike.”
The author of eight nonfiction best-sellers, Charlotte appears regularly on radio and television as a political and cultural commentator. She has received five honorary degrees and won numerous awards for her work, including a National Magazine Award for her Saturday Night columns and the Robertine Barry prize from the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Pierre Berton Award.
Charlotte was born in Sheffield, England, and began her writing career on that side of the Atlantic as a magazine editor and a newspaper columnist. She studied at Oxford and the London School of Economics. In 1979 she moved to Canada. She currently lives in Ottawa where she teaches at Carleton University, and summers near Portland.