How Much Of Alias Grace Actually Happened?

Sabrina Lantos/Netflix
Alias Grace, a new Netflix drama based off a 1996 Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, has everything you could want in a true crime story. There’s a grisly murder with motivations based in class, sexuality, and pent-up emotion. There’s a suspect who is as much of a mystery as the crime itself. Yet Alias Grace defies expectations for the true crime genre. You’ll get a good story, but not an easy solution.
Though Alias Grace is based around a real crime which took place in 1843, much of what you’ll see in the show is the product of Margaret Atwood’s imagination. Noticing the gaps in Marks’ sparse biography, Atwood "felt [she] was free to invent." Atwood's inventions — including two main characters — are what allow the character of Grace Marks to take on such fascinating dimensions.
Here's what actually happened to the real Grace Marks, and what aspects of the story originated in the novel Alias Grace.
Read These Stories Next:

More from TV

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.