Miss Gray

From The Library at Hurtfew
Jump to: navigation, search
Miss Gray was a young Yorkshire heiress who developed a passion for the study of magic. She was one of the dupes taken in by Christopher Drawlight, and is believed to have handed over some four hundred guineas to him under the impression she was paying to receive instruction from Jonathan Strange[35].

An orphan, aged about 18 in 1814, Miss Gray resided in Whitby under the care of elderly guardians whose advice, by the terms of her father's will, she was bound to respect until she was advanced in years. (It was precisely because of this provincial remoteness that Drawlight felt safe in taking her on as one of his dupes.[37])

On the unexpected death of her guardians however Miss Gray immediately quit Whitby and travelled to London[37], where she was received by the best society. There by chance she fell in company with Arabella Strange. Mrs Strange described her as "a smart, stylish girl, but not handsome", whose passion for magic was already widely spoken of in town. Indeed, according to Mrs Strange, Miss Gray sported a fan adorned with the portraits of Strange and Gilbert Norrell, and claimed to have read every word published by the magicians and Lord Portishead. Her assertion that she was paying Strange to send her letters containing spells and instructions in the magic arts greatly puzzled Mrs Strange, who knew at once that it was untrue. She attempted to alert her husband to the oddness of the young lady's assertions but he, with his usual inattentiveness to her conversation, neglected her warning. It was several days later and only after the encounter with the Nottinghamshire brewers at the Bedford coffee-house that Strange understood how Drawlight was abusing both his and Norrell's names in his wicked schemes to make money from magic.