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The Daughter Of Time [Paperback]

Josephine Tey
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Mar 2002
At Scotland Yard, Inspector Grant has a reputation for being able to pick them at sight. Now he is in hospital, knowing that no amount of good behaviour is going to make this anything less than an extended stay. Yet his professional curiosity is soon aroused. In a portrait of Richard III, the hunchbacked monster of nursery stories and history books, he finds a face that refuses to fit its reputation. But how, after four hundred years, can a bedridden policeman uncover the truth about the murder of the Princes in the Tower?

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New edition edition (7 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099430967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099430964
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Most people will find The Daughter Of Time as interesting and enjoyable a book as they will meet in a month of Sundays" (Observer)

"A detective story with a very considerable difference. Ingenious, stimulating and very enjoyable" (Sunday Times)

Book Description

A classic mystery from the Golden Age of detective fiction

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History is written by the winners 19 Mar 2007
By Aliena
Inspector Grant of the Scotland Yard is stuck in a hospital bed, recovering from a broken leg. Since he's interested in faces, his friend Marta brings him a stack of pictures, to cure him from the prickles of boredom he's suffering from. Grant becomes fascinated with a portrait of Richard III, one of the most notorious villains in history, most known for killing his nephews, the princes in the Tower. But can this man, who mostly resembles a judge, really be a heartless murderer. Quickly frustrated with the lack of contemporary source material, Grant and a young American scholar tries to solve this historical mystery.

All I knew about Richard III and the princes in the tower I got from Shakespeare's play, which is far from flattering for the king. The portrait painted of him in this book is very different. It's incredibly fascinating, but I'm not quite sure how seriously to take it. But the mix of mystery and history is fun, and it's a joy to read. Perhaps the most interesting part is the general discussion of how history is written by the victors.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and concise 20 Sep 1998
By A Customer
This remarkable book deserves credit for not only being an intriguing story, but also a novel that is able to make the intricacies of history and medieval politics accessible to the reader. Instead of focusing on long and boring lists of sources, Tey goes into the whys of the mystery as well as the whats. Tey clearly challenges the long (and unfairly) established perception of Richard the III by asking one question: Why? Why would Richard have committed the crime? Why is he painted as villainous and grasping when all the evidence shows otherwise? Why did Tudor, who villified Richard mercilessly, never actually accuse Richard of the murder? Tey argues these points and backs them up superbly with evidence rather than hearsay from Tudor historians. She fully explores the motivations of the historians as well as Richard's supposed motives. Tey asks the questions which historians always ignore, such as Why the supposedly ruthless Richard would act with such restraint against proven enemies? These questions are every bit as valid as the traditional arguments, perhaps even more so, because they go into the very heart and nature of the deeds and the people involved
Incidentally, the title comes from the saying: "Truth is the daughter of time."
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84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Can one really judge from the face of a person whether this is a "judge" or a "criminal" - and can one really go back over well-trodden historical ground and redeem Richard III. This book can and does it so convincingly that you will never be able to look at the Tudors the same way again. The novel is perfectly structured and must rank among the top-ten detective stories - and the Shakespeare quotation of the title makes one go back to "Richard III" and, lo and behold, Shakespeare suddenly seems to be loyal lackey of a power machine based on lies. "The Daughter of Time" is one of the best reads ever.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will never view HIstory the same way again 17 Nov 2003
By A Customer
If like me most of your knowledge of Richard III comes from Shakespeares character assasination of him then read this book. Ms Tey manages to wrap up a very convincing historical analysis in an excellent story. Read it as an A level student and Loved it. Went on a 1 woman mission to convince everyione I knew that Richard III was innocent but no one puts it quite so concisely and eloquently as Josephine Tey
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90 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THERE IS MORE TO THIS THAN MEETS THE EYE.. 25 Feb 2005
This is a wonderful genre bending book...part mystery, part history. Written by Scotswoman Elizabeth MacIntosh, who wrote under the pen name Josephine Tey, it was first published in 1951. It is tragic that the author died in 1952 and was never to know the pleasure that this book would bring to generations of readers and that the Mystery Writers of America would ultimately rank it fourth among the one hundred best mysteries ever written.
The title of the book is derived from a historical source, as it is attributable to Sir Francis Bacon, "For truth is rightly named after the daughter of time, and not of authority." The book itself is not a traditional mystery but rather an application of deductive reasoning to an actual historical event. The event in question is the murder of the princes in the tower, sons of King Edward IV, allegedly by their uncle, Richard III, who eventually usurped the English throne after the death of his brother. It has been widely held that Richard III did, indeed, murder the two young princes, his nephews, in order to secure his claim to the throne.
The reader is introduced to Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, who is hospitalized and recovering from injuries sustained in the line of duty. While convalescing, he becomes intrigued by a picture of a portrait of Richard III, a likeness with which he is unfamiliar. Grant is puzzled that someone with such a sensitive face could have been such a monster as to murder his two nephews in cold blood. So, our intrepid Inspector decides that he will reconsider the evidence upon which such a dastardly assumption has been based.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
If you want to know the truth about Richard III, read this book. It will all become clear. Highly recommend this book.
Published 13 days ago by The Book Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read
I loaded this to my Kindle to read on holiday following a best five historical murder books review. I was not disappointed. Read more
Published 27 days ago by D M Bullick
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating take on a bit of English history
I found this strangely gripping - even though the protagonist spent nearly all his time in a hospital bed. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. V. E. E. Tearle
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
The book raises some interesting ideas about the princes in the tower & Richard III. Good for a book club,very hard to put down
Published 1 month ago by DDupuy
5.0 out of 5 stars In favour of Richard III
One of the very best mediaeval whodunnits ever written. I've always had suspicions about Shakespeare's portrayal (or rather, betrayal) of the last Plantagenet King - based as it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hippolyta
4.0 out of 5 stars Daughter of Time
I enjoyed the book on first reading in 1956, and almost as much again on receipt from you last year.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs M Woodley
5.0 out of 5 stars The Daughter of Time - J. Tey
I ordered this because I stupidly lent my copy to a friend, breaking my lifelong rule and it was not returned. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joyce Clare
5.0 out of 5 stars History - Whose truth?
A book that will have you questioning everything you have ever been told about history. A Bo ok that unravels one of the historical mysteries and shows us that to hold a seat of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maria White
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
A fascinating read. A light-of-touch, yet fascinating exploration of the mystery of the Richard the Third 'did he, or didn't he?' order the murder of his nephews. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Constance
4.0 out of 5 stars it shouldn't really work, and yet it does.
Essentially, Tey's novel is an exploration of the story of the princes in the tower. Through Detective Alan Grant and his student sidekick, she uses the historical records to solve... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Katherine Pathak
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