The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, and the Trial That Shocked a Country
Written by Charlotte Gray
Published by HarperCollins
In 1915, a teenaged domestic servant shoots and kills her master, a scion of the rich and redoubtable Massey family in Toronto. Historian and biographer Charlotte Gray takes this incident as the starting gate for a fascinating tour not only of the sensational trial in post-Edwardian Toronto, but also of the social currents of the period: feminism, nationalism, imperialism, immigration, inequality of rich and poor—issues which reverberate today. Gray brilliantly creates a double narrative, with the famous trial intensively researched and re-enacted, and the state of the nation shown to mirror and complement the courtroom imbroglio. The Massey Murder is many things— a crime novel, a family history, a societal x-ray, set in the early months of World War One— all under the firm control of a masterful historian, researcher, and prose stylist.
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is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of nine 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. She came to Canada in 1979 and worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine columnist before she turned to authoring books. 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 and is a former Taylor Prize jurist. Charlotte is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She lives in Ottawa with her husband George Anderson, and has three sons.