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The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
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The Daughter of Time (1951)

by Josephine Tey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Alan Grant Mysteries (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,3951751,585 (4)2 / 576
  1. 101
    The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman (LisaMaria_C)
    LisaMaria_C: For me The Daughter of Time and The Sunne in Splendour go hand in hand. The first is the classic mystery "solving" the mystery of the Two Princes in the Tower and the second a sympathetic biographical novel of Richard III which is well-researched and moving.… (more)
  2. 90
    The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters (Cynara)
    Cynara: Both books are, broadly speaking, mysteries debunking the popular misconceptions around Richard III; Tey's book is entirely concerned with the subject, and Peters' does so as a sort of subplot, in addition to a more traditional mystery. I'd suggest reading Tey first, as her mystery has less to offer once you've read Peters.… (more)
  3. 50
    Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall (myshelves)
    myshelves: Biography
  4. 51
    The Wench is Dead by Colin Dexter (Cynara)
    Cynara: Two hospitalised detectives work through historical mysteries, investigating from their cots. Tey's is the more famous work, and will give you a good education on the ins and outs of the rehabilitation of Richard III, but to my mind, Dexter's book is better.
  5. 30
    We Speak No Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (Imprinted, KayCliff)
  6. 63
    The Tragedy of Richard the Third by William Shakespeare (bookwoman247)
    bookwoman247: This is a mystery involving Richard III and the two princes in the tower, and seems to have garnered a bit of respect. It's a great read on its own, and would make a great companion read to Shakespeare's Richard III.
  7. 31
    Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes by Bertram Fields (inge87)
  8. 10
    Yorkists: The History of a Dynasty by Anne Crawford (KayCliff)
  9. 00
    The Black Tower by Louis Bayard (bjappleg8)
    bjappleg8: Both novels use detectives to explore historical mysteries surrounding princes banished to towers and whose fates can never be known for certain.
  10. 00
    The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon (shaunie)
    shaunie: The detective solves the crime whilst bedridden in both. Both also somewhat overrated?
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English (172)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (174)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
I'm so glad I finally got around to reading this classic mystery, which has a most unusual set-up. Tey's detective Alan Grant (this is the fifth in a series) is flat on his back in hospital with injuries incurred in the course of duty. He's bored out of his mind until his friend Marta gets him interested in trying to solve a historical mystery: Was Richard III really a monster who had his young nephews murdered in order to steal the throne of England?

I confess that the parade of similarly named English royalty often confounds me, and I couldn't coherently distinguish between Edward II and Edward III, or the multitude of Henrys, without a cheat sheet. Fortunately Tey, through Grant and his legman, American researcher Brent Carradine, provides plenty of easily digestible background material to fill in the blanks.

It's always pleasantly surprising when books where the conclusion is known in advance remain compelling to read (cf. Erik Larson's Dead Wake about the sinking of the Lusitania), and that was the case for me here. I knew the bloodthirsty image of Richard III promulgated by Shakespeare and others had been debunked, but I still followed every twist and turn in the story with anticipation. And Tey's ability to make a book set entirely in a hospital room compelling is a tour de force.

I don't know if or how the rest of the series can live up to this singular book, but I think I'd like to give it a try. ( )
1 vote rosalita | Sep 5, 2018 |
I wanted to love this book - so many people say it is the greatest detective story.

I think I had better stick to more middle-brow topics. Between all the Elizabeths and Edwards, I was constantly confused. I had to look up words like "attainder". There were two family trees and I never got them straightened out in my mind.

One of her other books might have been a better starting place for me. But I saw this at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles and couldn't resist buying it. ( )
  SusanKrzywicki | Aug 7, 2018 |
1st American printing, no dj. Copyright by Elizabeth Macintosh
  Ashley | Jun 27, 2018 |
Detective is stuck in hospital for many months recovering from multiple fractures. While there he researches the truth behind Richard III and Henry VII. "Truth is the daughter of time, not authority" Francis Bacon ( )
  margaretfield | Jun 6, 2018 |
K- 5 star
  kristenlew8 | May 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tey, Josephineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barnard, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manninen, AnteroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheban, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weir, AlisonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weller, LucyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Truth is the daughter of time."
(Sir Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, Book I, 84)
Dedication
First words
Grant lay on his high white cot and stared at the ceiling.
Quotations
You don't like to think of a man you've known and admired flung stripped and dangling across a pony like a dead animal.
A frisson of horror may go down one's spine at wholesale destruction but one's heart stays unmoved. A thousand people drowned in floods in China are news: a solitary child drowned in a pond is tragedy.
It was, moreover, the almost-respectable form of historical fiction which is merely history-with-conversation, so to speak. An imaginative biography rather than an imagined story.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey's best-known work, is still widely admired not just as a defense of Richard III of England but also as a study of the nature and practice of history writing itself. It's also an entertaining and clever novel that was named #1 on the list of "Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time" by the Crime Writers' Association.

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Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant lies in a hospital bed with a broken leg. To alleviate his boredom, a friend brings him a pile of pictures: photographs, prints, engravings, and clippings. Among the more engrossing images is the portrait of King Richard III. Studying the benign face, he asks himself how such a sensitive-appearing soul could have been the infamous murderer of his own nephews. With the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, Grant reconsiders 500-year-old evidence pertaining to one of the most intriguing murder mysteries of all time. Josephine Tey's answer to who really killed the two princes in the Tower of London has provoked controversy ever since its publication in 1951.

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Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world's most heinous villains — a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother's children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England's throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.

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Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is bored out of his mind. Due to an unfortunate fall and multiple injuries he is bed ridden in the hospital and the long healing process and subsequent inaction are driving him crazy. A friend, knowing of the Inspector's passion for faces, brings him a portfolio of historical portraits thinking to distract him. She hopes he will involve himself in solving a "classic" historical mystery, since he seems to know all the facts of the Scotland Yard cases by heart. Grant homes in on the portrait of King Richard III, the supposedly wicked uncle who murdered his nephews, the boy princes, in the London's Tower. He remembers how Richard was portrayed in elementary school history and certainly recalls Shakespeare's vivid portrait of the evil hunchbacked king. However, try as he may, Grant cannot reconcile the face in the painting with that of a tyrannical children's' murderer and usurper of England's throne. He sees conscience and integrity in the face of the painting's subject. And his curiosity is aroused for the first time since his accident.

Grant asks for historical books and reads everything he can get his hands on. He finally comes into contact with a young research student from America who also becomes caught-up in the hypothesis that Richard III was framed. Author Josephine Tey, with the skill of the best in Scotland Yard, conducts an objective investigation of a centuries-old crime. She evenly portrays both side of the story, Richard III's and King Henry VII's (the other suspect), with all its twists and turns, reveals compelling evidence and comes to an amazing conclusion.

The reader is literally taken back in time to examine the accusations, testimonies and material relating to the death of Richard's brother, King Edward IV in 1483, the known history of his sons, Princes Edward and Richard after their father's death and their mysterious disappearance, the behavior of Edward's widow and children, including his eldest daughter Elizabeth, who becomes Henry's bride, Queen and mother to Henry VIII. Tey provides an extraordinarily well researched profile of Richard III, pieced together directly from historical documents, and another profile of Henry Tudor. The author also examines the 1934 exhumation of the two children who were first dug up in 1674. Motives are examined and finally, conclusions are drawn, proving, once again, that history is written by winners.

Haiku summary
Who killed the Princes
in the Tower? Inspector
Grant investigates.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684803860, Paperback)

Josephine Tey is often referred to as the mystery writer for people who don't like mysteries. Her skills at character development and mood setting, and her tendency to focus on themes not usually touched upon by mystery writers, have earned her a vast and appreciative audience. In Daughter of Time, Tey focuses on the legend of Richard III, the evil hunchback of British history accused of murdering his young nephews. While at a London hospital recuperating from a fall, Inspector Alan Grant becomes fascinated by a portrait of King Richard. A student of human faces, Grant cannot believe that the man in the picture would kill his own nephews. With an American researcher's help, Grant delves into his country's history to discover just what kind of man Richard Plantagenet was and who really killed the little princes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:15 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

With the help of the British museum and an American scholar, Inspector Alan Grant investigates the history of King Richard III, to determine if he was a heinous villain who killed his brother's children to secure his power, or a victim turned into a monster by the usurpers of England's throne.… (more)

» see all 14 descriptions

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