Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of ten acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Born in Sheffield, England, and educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she began her writing career in England as a magazine editor and newspaper columnist. After coming to Canada in 1979, she worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine columnist before she turned to biography and popular history.
Charlotte’s most recent book is Promise of Canada, People and Ideas that have Shaped our Country, which included a portrait of Justice Bertha Wilson. In 2008, Charlotte published Nellie McClung, a short biography of Canada’s leading women’s rights activist in the Penguin Series, Extraordinary Canadians. Her 2006 bestseller, Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell, won the Donald Creighton Award for Ontario History and the City of Ottawa Book Award. Her previous five books, which include Sisters in the Wilderness, The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill, Flint & Feather, The Life and Times of E. Pauline Johnson and A Museum Called Canada, were all award-winning bestsellers.
Charlotte appears regularly on radio and television as a political and cultural commentator. In 2004 she was the advocate for Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, for the CBC series: The Greatest Canadian. She has been a judge for several of Canada’s most prestigious literary prizes, including the Giller Prize for Fiction, the Charles Taylor Prize for Non-fiction and the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. In February 2013, she championed the novel Away, by Jane Urquhart, in CBC’s annual battle of the books, Canada Reads.
Charlotte has been awarded five honorary doctorates, from Mount St. Vincent University, Nova Scotia, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, York University and Carleton University.
An Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University, Charlotte is the 2003 Recipient of the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history. She is former chair of the board of Canada’s National History Society, which publishes the magazine Canada’s History (formerly The Beaver.) She sits on the boards of the Ottawa International Authors Festival, the Art Canada Institute/Institut de l’Art Canadien, and the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa. Charlotte is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History Books
The Massey Murder: A Maid, her Master, and the Trial that Shocked a Nation (Toronto: Harper-Collins for the Osgoode Society, 2013)