Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
James Malcolm Rymer
Standard Name: Rymer, James Malcolm
Used Form: M. J. Errym
Used Form: Malcolm J. Merry
was a prolific penny dreadfulist, novelist, and journal editor. Although he rarely published under his own name but instead employed a large number of pseudonyms, his works of fiction (which may have amounted to more than 120 titles)
quickly became some of the most popular reading in mid-Victorian Britain. His works are often misattributed to the invented Elizabeth Caroline Grey or the actual .
Most information surrounding the so-called, non-existent Elizabeth Caroline Grey derives from a false account submitted in a letter to Notes and Queries by independent scholar . In a letter addressing a query from the journal's editor, , de Ternant built on Jay's misattribution of Gentleman Jack to a Mrs. E. C. Grey and convincingly orchestrated a detailed account of her life and writing. This account was quickly accepted by the editors of Notes and Queries and has since worked its way into respected institution catalogues and esteemed publications, causing much confusion.
Thanks to the work of Helen Smith and Patrick Spedding, the life and writing of Elizabeth Caroline Grey, after more than a hundred years, has been exposed as a dizzying case of academic mishap, compulsive lying, and lost identity. The popular Mrs Grey, usually presumed to be one Elizabeth Caroline Grey née Duncan, is now considered a likely mix of née Grindall (1789-1870), (a.k.a. the Honourable Mrs Grey, née Sherriff, who confusingly shared her birth and married names with her aunt and mother-in-law Maria Grey, 1782-1857), with works by (1814-84) added to her supposed output.
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