Anthony Grey Archive

Scope and Content

The archive holds original manuscripts, research papers, publicity material and correspondence relating to Grey's publications, magazine journalism, television and radio productions. Audio tapes and videorecordings of some programmes are included, slides and photographs of his Far East trip in 1988, personal and press photographs, and numerous press-cuttings.

The series AG/HOS covers the taking of Grey as a hostage in Peking. It contains press-cuttings; memorabilia; correspondence of the British public, Reuters, and officials with Agnes Grey (Anthony's mother) who along with Shirley McGuinn campaigned tirelessly for his release; a transcript of Grey's diary; material relating to his release and homecoming; and audio-tapes and scripts relating to interviews. AG/LIT/3 covers Grey's book Hostage in Peking; and AG/PHO/4-5 contains photographs relating to this period.

Professional and business papers (AG/PRO) include correspondence with literary agents, and papers of Grey's two companies founded in the 1970s: James Murray Literary Enterprises Ltd, and LA Fun Ltd. The Norwich based company which Grey currently runs is Tagman Press, (papers of which are not yet included).

Grey's friendship with Alfred Bosshardt is documented in Series AG/AB. The novel Peking was based on the experiences of Alfred Bosshardt, a Western missionary on the Long March. Correspondence with Bosshardt and papers relating to the Manchester Chinese Missionary Church are included.

A supplementary addition to the collection, AG/RT was made in July 2003 with the deposit of personal and business papers of Ronald M. Titcombe. Included are papers relating to matters concerning Harold Holt, former Prime Minister of Australia, and Grey's 1983 publication The Prime Minister was a Spy. This series remains under embargo.

Administrative / Biographical History

Anthony Grey was born on 5/7/1938 in Norwich. He came to world attention in the late 1960s when, as a Reuters correspondent he spent two years as a hostage in Peking, where he had been sent to cover the Cultural Revolution. This gruesome period (July 1967 - October 1969) resulted in his first book, Hostage in Peking, published in 1970; and Crosswords from Peking and Chinese puzzles were the result of over 300 crosswords which Grey compiled while in Peking. His other works include a book of short stories A man alone; novels,Some put their trust in chariots, The Bulgarian exclusive, The Chinese assassin,Saigon, Peking, The Bangkok secret, The naked angels, and Tokyo Bay; non-fiction books including The Prime Minister was a spy; short stories, articles and reviews which appeared in publications like Playboy, Punch, Illustrated London News, etc.

From 1974-1979 Grey was a regular presenter of the BBC World Service daily programme of international affairs Twenty-four hours.

Grey produced television documentaries for the BBC and ATV, his most successful being Return to Peking and Return to Saigon (1988). In the former he returned to Peking and documented the changes which had occurred in China since his imprisonment in 1967. In Return to Saigon he visited Vietnam for the first time, this is subsequent to the success of his novel Saigon which was set in Vietnam.

Grey's experience as a hostage led to him founding Hostage Action Worldwide in the late 1980s. This organisation was particularly focused on John McCarthy, Brian Keenan, Terry Waite and others held in the Middle East at that time. Grey's own experience as a hostage, and the fight of others for his release is described in correspondence, press-cuttings and photographs. On his release, Grey was awarded an O.B.E. and was declared Journalist of the Year (1969) at the IPC National Press awards.

From the early 1990s onwards Grey began researching the UFO phenomenon worldwide. Interviews were conducted for a major three-part radio documentary series of programmes broadcast on the BBC World Service in l996/7 entitled UFOs - fact, fiction or fantasy? Grey concluded at the close of the series that the evidence for craft from other civilisations visiting the Earth is overwhelming.

Grey was a member of the Raelian Movement in the late 1990s. This International movement, founded by Claude Rael, asserts all life forms on Earth were genetically engineered by an advanced extra-terrestrial civilisation. Papers relating to Grey's membership are included in his archive as well as draft translations of Claude Rael's book: The final message - a translation of Rael's first two books, published by Anthony Grey's Tagman Press.

In 1970 Grey was married to Shirley McGuinn (16/12/1932-24/11/1995). They had two daughters Clarissa and Lucy. They were divorced in 1992. Grey lived in Jersey from 1969-1973, in London, and in West Sussex from 1977-1991. He now resides in Norwich.


  • AG/AB Alfred Bosshardt and the Long March 1930-1996
  • AG/HAW Hostage Action Worldwide and the Charlton Foundation 1986-1992
  • AG/HOS Hostage in Peking 1967-1980
  • AG/JOU Journalism 1960-1999
  • AG/LIT Literary works 1967-2001
  • AG/PER Personal papers 1954-1996
  • AG/PHO Photographs and slides
  • AG/PRE Press-cuttings 1958-1994
  • AG/PRO Professional, career and business 195- - 1999
  • AG/PUB Publicity 1970-1995
  • AG/RAE Raelian Movement 1996-1998
  • AG/RT Ronald M. Titcombe 196-?-2000?
  • AG/TRA Travel 195-? - 198-
  • AG/TV Television, film and radio productions 1969-1996
  • AG/UFO UFOs 1994-1996

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation in the Archives Department during its advertised opening hours.



Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available as well as an automated catalogue. For access to the catalogue see

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions can be supplied in hard copy or digital format subject to physical condition and the terms of deposit. A charge is made for this service. Copyright restrictions may apply and the advice of the Archives department should be sought for any use of reproductions other than personal research.

Custodial History

This collection was deposited by Anthony Grey at the University of East Anglia Library in 2001.