Maria Grey

Standard Name: Grey, Maria
Birth Name: Maria Georgina Shirreff
Married Name: Maria Georgina Grey
MG wrote during the second half of the nineteenth century. Her early productions were literary: she collaborated with her sister on a narrative and a novel, and then produced a second novel independently. Her later writings were political, arguing the need for improvements to women's education, as well as addressing issues relating to the suffrage movement. Through her writings and through direct action, MG worked to ensure an improvement in opportunities for women's education.
Low-resolution black-and-white photo of Maria Grey sitting in a chair,holding a book. She has a white cap tied round her head and she is wearing glasses.  Her dress is buttoned up the front and topped by a short jacket.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
death Emily Shirreff
ES died in her home at 41 Stanhope Gardens, Queen's Gate, London, where she and her sister Maria had lived since 1884.
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder, 1908.
Education Emily Shirreff
ES ' early education was primarily domestic. Her father employed Adele Piquet , a French-Swiss governess who spoke no English, to educate Emily and Maria . The girls' mother also read to them and taught them needlepoint.
Ellsworth, Edward W. Liberators of the Female Mind: The Shirreff Sisters, Educational Reform, and the Women’s Movement. Greenwood, 1979.
8, 10
Family and Intimate relationships Emily Shirreff
ES had an elder sister, Caroline , and two younger sisters, Maria and Katherine . Maria and Emily remained close all their lives, and published several collaborative works.
Blain, Virginia, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford, 1990.
Ellsworth, Edward W. Liberators of the Female Mind: The Shirreff Sisters, Educational Reform, and the Women’s Movement. Greenwood, 1979.
9, 19-20
Family and Intimate relationships Emily Shirreff
In 1841 ES 's sister Maria married William Grey . Given the sisters' close relationship, the marriage was difficult for Emily, and her health even deteriorated somewhat immediately following it. After a brief period, however...
Friends, Associates Frances Power Cobbe
Friends, Associates Emily Shirreff
The pair frequently helped each other in their writing: Buckle was already working on his History of Civilisation in England. Maria Grey said that his influence on ES was that of a strong and...
Friends, Associates Herbert Spencer
His broad social circle included several other women writers. Frances Power Cobbe , Eliza Lynn Linton , Matilda Betham-Edwards , and sisters Maria Grey and Emily Shirreff , were all his acquaintances. Later in life...
Intertextuality and Influence Frances Power Cobbe
Among the personal duties that the book identifies, is that of maintaining your own lawful freedom
Cobbe, Frances Power. The Duties of Women. G. H. Ellis, 1881.
as the indispensable condition of the whole moral life.
Cobbe, Frances Power. The Duties of Women. G. H. Ellis, 1881.
But freedom must be exercised properly, and Cobbe...
Occupation Ann Bridge
Since, however, writing seemed unlikely to yield her a livelihood, she went immediately to work as assistant secretary for the Charity Organization Society , Chelsea branch. This paid her twenty-three shillings a week, with hours...
Occupation Emily Shirreff
Restored for the moment to health, ES , with her sister Maria Grey , attended a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Nottingham in 1866. There they acted as hostesses...
Occupation Emily Shirreff
Her sister identified the reason that she left this position: she was confronted with a persistent opposition to her influence and views concerning governance of the institution.
Ellsworth, Edward W. Liberators of the Female Mind: The Shirreff Sisters, Educational Reform, and the Women’s Movement. Greenwood, 1979.
ES did however, remain a member of...
politics Emily Shirreff
In 1871 ES worked with her sister Maria Grey to establish the National Union for the Education of Women of all Classes ; ES worked as honorary secretary and also co-edited (with George Bartley )...
politics Emily Shirreff
Founded in February 1875 by Beata Doreck (who died in 1875 shortly after assuming the presidency of the new organization), Maria Grey , and ES , the Froebel Society promoted the kindergarten system advocated by...
Author summary Emily Shirreff
ES lived and wrote during the mid-nineteenth century. She was a keen educationalist, and many of her writings were essays, tracts, and pamphlets in which she argued the need for an improved education system. These...
Author summary Catherine Maria Grey
CMG was a popular silver-fork novelist, most commonly known as Mrs. Grey to her readers. Her works are often misattributed to her daughter Anna Maria Grey , or to the unrelated Maria Georgina Grey (1816-1906)...


17 November 1871
The National Union for the Education of Girls of all Classes above the Elementary was founded by Maria Grey , with her sister Emily Shirreff and others.
20 January 1873
Chelsea School , first of the Girls' Public Day School Company schools, opened.
The Froebel Society was established to promote the notion of the kindergarten education.