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Valerie Grove (née Smith, born 11 May 1946[1] in South Shields)[2] is a British journalist and author, who for many years worked as a feature writer, interviewer and columnist for The Times newspaper.

Her father, William Douglas "Doug" Smith (1916–73), was a cartoonist for the Shields Gazette and other newspapers.[3] After graduating from Girton College, Cambridge, she joined the Shields Gazette herself in 1965 as a reporter, remaining there for a year. She joined the London Evening Standard in 1968[4] working as a feature writer, eventually becoming the newspaper's literary editor for two spells (1979–81 and 1984–87). She left the Standard in 1987. After this she wrote for The Sunday Times (1987–91) and The Times (1992–2014).

Grove's book The Compleat Woman: Marriage, Motherhood, Career - Can She Have it All? appeared in 1987. The volume contains interviews with prominent women of the time, married for at least 25 years and with three or more children.[5]

Grove is a biographer of the writers Dodie Smith (1996), Laurie Lee (1999) and John Mortimer (2007).[6][7] So Much To Tell, a biography of the children's book editor Kaye Webb, was published in May 2010.

Previously known professionally as Valerie Jenkins; she married David Byrnmor Jenkins in 1968, but the couple later divorced.[8] (Her first book Where I Was Young - Memories of London Childhoods was published in 1976, under her former name.) She married Trevor Grove in 1975.[5] Her second husband is a former editor of The Sunday Telegraph.[7]


  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. 10 May 2014. p. 52.
  2. ^ Grove, Valerie (2 August 2008). "Northern exposure helps David Miliband to grow". The Times. Retrieved 2 February 2018. (subscription required)
  3. ^ "William Douglas Smith". British Cartoon Archive. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  4. ^ Griffiths, Dennis, ed. (1992). The Encyclopedia of the British Press 1422–1992. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan. p. 280.
  5. ^ a b Groskop, Viv (3 March 2008). "Having it all". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  6. ^ Grove, Valerie (17 January 2009). "Rumpole creator John Mortimer dies at 85". The Times. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  7. ^ a b Agent's biography page, United Agents.
  8. ^ Jenkins, David (31 July 2008). "Literary doubles". Retrieved 2 February 2018.