The second daughter of Albert, 4th Earl Grey, Simon’s grandmother Lady Sybil Middleton (née Grey), was born into a world of privilege. She was nevertheless avid for new experiences and loved adventurous travel, which led her on an extraordinary journey from comfortable Edwardian society to Russia at war and then the maelstrom of the Russian Revolution.
Simon became fascinated by the story of her wartime exploits after the discovery of a battered old travelling trunk in a back room which contained letters and diaries covering much of her life. He worked as a publisher in Africa, Oxford, Cambridge, Harlow and London before setting up his own publishing business. He is now retired and lives with his wife Julia in Cambridge, and enjoys painting, walking, music and historical research. He has travelled extensively to Canada, Russia and Eastern Europe whilst researching and writing this book.