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The Daughter of Time, Book Cover May Vary

(Book #5 in the Inspector Alan Grant Series)

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Book Overview

"One of the best mysteries of all time" (The New York Times)--Josephine Tey recreates one of history's most famous--and vicious--crimes in her classic bestselling novel, a must read for connoisseurs... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

After reading this book, I'm now for #TeamRichardIII, #HouseofYork

I was very impressed with this book, what I'd classify as a sleeper, if it were a movie. The storytelling takes place in a hospital, by an inquisitive man recuperating from an injury--a reader of books and a "reader" of faces. But it's a detective story, nonetheless. Incapacitated from his work as a police inspector with a knack for assessing personalities by looking at people's faces, he's getting antsy and bored. To amuse him, a friend shows a photo of a gentleman with a benign countenance, and to which he gives a positive assessment. When the gentleman's name is revealed to be the infamous Richard III (made even more infamous by Shakespeare, no doubt), this propels him to read more on the man and his life's trajectory. His research and deductive reasoning eventually confirm his earlier reading of the portrait: that history and literature have not only been unkind, but downright nasty to Richard III. After reading this book, I guarantee a piqued interest in Richard III, Henry VII, and the mystery of the disappearance of Richard's two nephews in the tower. Good arguments at play here, but bear in mind Annabelle, that this is a work of fiction. Nifty: The word TRUTH is embedded into the cover, but is not easily decipherable because the indentation is the same color and material as the book cover. The title comes from the proverb, “Truth is the daughter of time.”

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

I was assigned to do a review on this book for a Master's level class on Research and writing for the Graduate student level at New Mexico Highlands University. Not only is it a fun read but the historic revelations about Richard III and the "Princes in the Tower" were eye opening. Since then I have been giving the book as a gift to friends interested in history and even one to a "Historian" who gives lectures at the Tower of London today. Senator Mike Fair Retired Oklahoma State Senator

The Ricardian Argument, With Delightful Training Wheels

What thoughtful reader hasn't experienced Shakespeare's Richard III and wondered about the accuracy of the Bard's portrayal? Thus did Josephine Tey, near the close of her authorial career, delve into some of the lost nooks and crannies of English history in an effort to recover "the real Richard." The well-known hurdle for all would-be Ricardians is, of course, the utter absence of source material contemporary to Richard's reign, and most of all anything that discusses the fate of the "princes in the Tower." All that is generally counted as "authoritative," it turns out, is the product of Tudor dynasty information factories. Tey, however, very likely had in her possession the writings of Sir Clements Markham, a late Victorian-era civil servant, whose careful revisionist argument is here unfolded in a lively, compelling narrative of incremental discovery. Prompted by a reproduction of a famous portrait of Richard, Tey's laid-up sleuth, with the help of an American researcher, marshalls from his bed an archival assault on the estimable Sir Thomas More, Henry (the VII) Tudor, and the entire phalanx of worthies who have reported, for the last half a millennium, that Richard was the demonic crookback murderer of Shakespeare's characterization. Happily for us, there's more (sic) to the story than the traditional record, and those not already sucked into the revisionist Ricardian argument may very well be converted. Tey's engaging "fiction" is not only a great boon to all Ricardians--who, with Richard III Societies on both sides of the pond, must surely win hundreds if not thousands of new converts yearly as a result of this 50-year-old work--but the perfect place to begin your own exploration of this great historical proto-conspiracy.

The Mystery of History

Since the winner writes the history books, it's not surprising most people believe that Richard III was evil. According to Sir Thomas More and Shakespeare, he had various members of his family killed, including his poor little nephews, so that he could be king. It's important to remember that much of what we think we know about Richard was written during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I -- who were on the throne as the direct result of the defeat of Richard. To justify the Tudors (Henry's father, I believe) seizing power, Richard had to be cast as the bad guy. We may never know what actually happened, but Josephine Tey presents a different look into history using actual letters and documents from that time. It all starts with a modern-day homicide detective who prides himself on being able to read faces. When he sees Richard's portrait (without knowing who it is), he doesn't pick it as the face of an evil murderer. I've seen Richard's portrait in the National Portrait Gallery in London -- and I think Tey's character, although fictional, may be on to something.

A little novel that packs a big punch

Well, Richard III can certainly be considered as an unique British monarch: five-hundred years after his early demise (he was 32 when he was killed) he sparks so much controversy you could fill the whole Encyclopaedia Brittanica with it. I must admit that yes, I *do* belong to a branch of the Richard III Society, but I became supportive of him through research that sprung from my own curitosity. But onwards with the review.To start with, this novel has everything I demand from a good mystery novel: good characterisation, a faultless story-line, brilliant dialogue. It is not a book, however, for those who prefer their mysteries with lots of car chases, steamy blondes whenever (un)necessary, gun-toting bad guys, etc. Rather it is a literate mystery, acessible but packing more history and historical analysis in its little-over-one-hundred pages than you can shake a stick at. As such, I would recommend it only for those who like their books with brains. What is more, it is one of those rare books that does a serious contribution to History: you really get to understand how myths are made and how every ruler who usurps his/her position (in this case, Henry VII) does his/her best to totally blacken his/her predecessor's name (in this case, Richard III). Want confirmations, both in History and in literature? Try the Trotsky/Stalin case, or George Orwell's "1984", and let's have you muttering "Tonypandy".And as for the historical content, it is top-notch, despite the fact that Tey ignores one of the most probable murder suspect (Buckingham) and the fact that the Princes may not have been murdered at all. Despite the fact that Thomas More was a saint, that does not mean that everything he wrote was inspired by God (what he wrote about Richard was probably inspired by Morton). Whether his work was a satyr of history or whether he intended it as a serious work, the point is that it is riddled with innacuracies, misconceptions and palpable absurdities. Also, he had been 8 when Richard was killed in Bosworth Field. I admire Thomas More and this is not an aspersion on him, but the fact is that his book about Richard cannot be taken seriously.Many other palpable hits are scored, and I must tell to some readers whose comments I read that they are missing the whole point. For starters, not only this book is superior to many "histories" due to its critical treatment of sources, it also succeds in proving that Richard is one of the most unlikely murder suspects simply because a secret murder would obviously defeat its own end. Why would a man renowned by his capacities as a strategist suddenly commit an idiotic murder in the most idiotic manner possible? If it was imperative that the Princes should die, it was also imperative that everybody knew they were dead. What he couldn't possibly afford was a mystery - only an idiot would commit such a crime, and Richard never showed any signs of idiocy. And, as for the comment of the E
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