George Murray Smith
George Murray Smith (1824-1901) publisher and founder of the Dictionary of National Biography. He inherited the publishing firm of Smith, Elder and Co, which was extremely successful, selling books across the British Empire. By the mid-1860s Smith was one of the leading publishers of the day, the list of authors associated with the firm, included: Arnold, Trollope, Thackeray, Gaskell, Charles Reade, Wilkie Collins, the Brontës, and the Brownings, and is a who's who of Victorian literature. In 1867 he published Queen Victoria's 'Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands'. George Smith inspired the character of Graham Bretton in Charlotte Bronte's novel 'Villette'. He died at his home on St George's Hill, and was buried in Byfleet.