Charlotte Gray is a British-born Canadian author of non-fiction, specifically literary biographies and works about Canadian history. She has published 11 books and numerous articles.
Born in Sheffield, England in 1948, Gray went on to read history at Oxford, graduating in 1969. Following the completion of a post-graduate diploma at the London School of Economics, Gray embarked on a career in journalism, writing for The London Daily Standard and editing Psychology Today (UK edition).
In 1979, Gray immigrated to Canada, where she became a freelance magazine writer. From 1986-1993 she served as Ottawa editor for Saturday Night magazine, contributing articles for monthly issues of the magazine. In 1997 she shifted her focus to book-length works, releasing her first biography, Mrs. King: The Life and Times of Isabel Mackenzie King, to critical acclaim.
Gray’s non-fiction books have won or been shortlisted for most of the major non-fiction awards in Canada, including the Governor-General’s Award for Non-fiction (shortlisted, 1998), the Trillium Award (shortlisted), the Nereus Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Award (shortlisted), the Canadian Authors Medal for Non-fiction, the Canadian Authors Award for Canadian History, the Donald Creighton Award for Ontario History, the Ottawa Book Award, the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction Crime Book, and many more. Gray’s first five volumes were best sellers, and several of her works have been adapted for television, including Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Trail (1999) and Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike (2010).
Gray appears frequently on radio and television as a commentator, and in 2004 participated in CBC’s The Greatest Canadian television series as an advocate for Sir John A. MacDonald. Since 2005, she has also held an appointment as Adjunct Research Professor in Carleton University’s Department of History.
Additional noteworthy accolades of Gray’s include honorary doctorates from Mount Saint Vincent University, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, York University, and Carleton University. In 2007, she became a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2009 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
List of Gray’s non-fiction books:
Mrs. King: The Life and Times of Isabel Mackenzie King (Penguin Viking, 1997)
Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Trail (Penguin Viking, Canada and Duckworths (UK) 1999)
Flint & Feather: The Life and Times of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (HarperCollins Canada, 2002)
Canada: A Portrait in Letters (Doubleday Canada, 2003)
The Museum Called Canada: 25 Rooms of Wonder (Random House Canada, 2004)
Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell (HarperCollins Canada and Arcade Publishing (US), 2006)
Nellie McClung (Penguin Canada, 2008)
Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike (HarperCollins Canada and Counterpoint (US), 2010)
The Massey Murder: A Maid, her Master, and the Trial that Shocked a Country (HarperCollins Canada, 2013)
The Promise of Canada: People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country (Simon & Schuster Canada, 2016)
Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise (HarperCollins Canada, 2016)