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The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
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The Daughter of Time (original 1951; edition 2011)

by Josephine Tey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5101321,510 (4.03)450
Member:JaneSteen
Title:The Daughter of Time
Authors:Josephine Tey
Info:Oxford City Press (2011), Hardcover, 158 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (1951)

  1. 81
    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. 70
    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. 40
    Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall (myshelves)
    myshelves: Biography
  4. 52
    Richard III 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.
  5. 31
    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.
  6. 31
    Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes by Bertram Fields (inge87)
  7. 20
    We Speak No Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (Imprinted, KayCliff)
  8. 10
    Yorkists: The History of a Dynasty by Anne Crawford (KayCliff)
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English (129)  Italian (1)  All languages (130)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
3.5 stars

In this book, a detective is in the hospital and is looking for something to keep him busy. With the help of friends, he starts researching Richard III and whether or not he actually did murder his nephews in the late 15th century.

I thought it was interesting. There were dry spots in the book, as it was all research - the detective talking to his friends/helpers about what might or might not have happened. It is a topic I'm interested in and have read a little bit (though not a lot) about. I do intend to read more. I sure would have liked for the author to provide an afterword, but maybe providing that was less common for historical fiction in the mid-20th century? I do wonder about the title, as well. ( )
  LibraryCin | Aug 30, 2014 |
As they say, ’history is written by the victors’, so when we study the past, we probably need to keep that in mind. We should also remember that someone who has been cast in the history books as a villain might have a different perspective on events. Richard III has been vilified throughout the centuries as the greedy king who killed his young nephews, the princes in the Tower, so that he could ascend the throne. But although people accept that Richard III was the person who ordered the death of the young princes, the bodies of the princes were never found.

In The Daughter of Time, police detective Alan Grant is bedridden, recovering from a bullet wound from a previous case. Bored to tears, he finds his hospital stay to be agonizing until a friend visits him and gives him a set of postcards depicting a variety of famous paintings. As a police detective, Grant has honed the skill of analyzing faces to assess a possible suspect’s nature. Going through the photos, he sees the portrait of a man who appears pensive and introspective. When he finds out that the portrait is Richard III, he is surprised that the man’s image does not match the evil personality of a murderer attributed to him. From his bedside, Grant conducts his murder investigation using historic documents instead of collected evidence.

I thought I would love this mystery. It was voted the best mystery of all time and the combination of mystery and historic fiction has always appealed to me. But, what I enjoy about historic fiction is getting a feel for life during that time. Rather than taking the reader to medieval England, we hear about the times and situation indirectly. It was interesting to learn about the discrepancies that make it questionable that Richard III really ordered the murder of the young princes, but I missed the aspect of what it was like to live during that time. Overall, it was interesting, but not as compelling as other historic mysteries. ( )
1 vote jmoncton | Aug 20, 2014 |
Enjoying this tremendously! Provides a lot of confusing information clearly and entertainingly. ( )
  DonnaB317 | Aug 14, 2014 |
In this mystery, Detective Grant is in the hospital and starts sifting through history for a mystery out of boredom. He becomes fascinated by Richard III and the rumor that he killed the two young Princes (King Edward IV's sons and Richard's nephews) to keep them from threatening his right to rule England. Grant investigates whether or not this is true. I loved Tey's writing style, humorous and light, and am definitely going to try some of her other mysteries. I believe this is the only one with the historical slant. I was glad that I'd recently read some other historical fiction about Richard III because otherwise it might have been hard to keep up with all of the royal names and family trees. ( )
1 vote japaul22 | Aug 7, 2014 |
Read during Summer 2007

Inspector Grant turns his 'prickles of boredom' time, laid up in hospital with a broken leg, to solving the mystery of what happened to the Princes in the Tower. Perhaps he does, perhaps he doesn't, the historical research is not completely clear and I was hoping from some kind of author note about it but no luck. Like 'The Man in the Queue', it peters out at the end, once Grant decides that it was Henry VII who had the Princes killed. Interesting read but good to cross.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 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
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Epigraph
"Truth is the daughter of time."
Dedication
First words
Grant lay on his high white cot and stared at the ceiling.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:47 -0400)

(see all 5 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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