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The Daughter of Time

The Daughter of Time

Book - 195l
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Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Pocket Books, 195l
ISBN: 9780671821227
Branch Call Number: MYS TEY-J
Characteristics: 207 p.; 18 cm


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The classic whodunit, popular in the Golden Age of mystery writing (1920-1950), is a mystery where the reader is given the opportunity to engage in the same process of deduction as the protagonist throughout the investigation of a crime, following clues as they are uncovered. The whodunit is still very popular and many works by representative authors are available at Tacoma Public Library. He… (more)

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May 04, 2021

This important crime novel examines the historical question of whether Richard III really killed his nephews. The novel makes a very historically and evidence based argument that Richard probably did not, and the novel undoubted helped change the view of historians on this topic. (This is an interesting topic to google.) It is pretty amazing to think of a novel changing history, but that is what this one really did. The Daughter of Time ranks very high on lists of “the best mystery novels of all time,” especially in lists compiled by the British. On the other hand, I wouldn’t give the novel high marks for intrinsic enjoyability.

Oct 10, 2020

For someone unfamiliar with English history it was extremely hard to follow at times. A family tree at the beginning would have been useful. Some characters had last names and also titles so after a while you figured out that Joe Smith and the Duke of Jones were the same person. Only finished it because it was quite short and I wanted to find out, if not Richard, then who?

Sep 20, 2019

I found this book mentioned in another one, The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters. It was the not the first time that I had read different theories about Richard III and the death of the princes in the Tower, but The Daughter of Time seemed to be the first book to read in order to start understanding what really happened. Well, I don't want to give too much away, because this novel is such a precious jewel and it has to be savored page by page. I will only say that it's a mystery story of the first order and that it throws light on a king who is normally smeared in history books. Inspector Alan Grant is in hospital for some time and, with the help of a young American History student, investigates the fate of the two young princes in the Tower and tries to establish who actually killed them. What is really impressive is that the characters have no access to Internet and so they research their subject in the old school way: by reading books and looking materials up in libraries. That brought back so many memories for me, because that is exactly what I had to do when in college (not an eternity ago, but still last century), and that was of course also part of the enjoyment for me. Read this book for the style, the dialogues, the reasoning, the associations and deductions of the protagonist, but also to get a good lesson in history. History books are written by winners, and are not always truthful. But truth, the daughter of time, will always come out in the end.

Apr 25, 2019

Interesting, but you had better know your kings of England, and their supporters. In 2014 bones that were supposed to belong to Richard 111 were dug up. DNA showed his Royal lines to be somewhat different than history reported.

Apr 11, 2019

Great fun! A fascinating whodunnit set entirely in the mind, and a very interesting look at history as written by the victors.

Nov 29, 2018

Jane & Liz both recommend this.

Jul 06, 2018

In an entertaining way Tey tells us how to do research.
Use first-hand or original documents; ask who is the writer, affiliations and biography.
History is written by the victors but as time passes the truth may prevail.

Aug 10, 2017

This is a wonderful introduction to the intricacies of English royalty of the period, and prompted me to search out Thomas B. Costain's wonderful series that begins with "The Conquering Family."

Not the typical Tey mystery, it's fun to read and re-read, and I look forward to the passing of a few more years when I can pick it up again.

Jul 26, 2016

One of my favourite authors!
As always an interesting look at society & history complete with plot twists.
But it's not just about the story line. It's the amazing writing, the character development, the use of language.
Unfortunately Josephine Tey (Elizabeth MacKintosh) left us with just 5 mystery novels. They are all wonderful literary works to savour repeatedly.

EuSei Jun 18, 2015

“Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority” (Francis Bacon). If you don’t enjoy History and research, stay clear, for the book is all about both. Despite the main character is stuck in a hospital bed, Miss Tey made the most of one of the biggest mysteries of our time: the “princes in the Tower.” She did an incredible amount of research and if she didn’t set out to debunk myths, at least she put lots of doubts in her readers’ minds. (Among the myths she mentions is that of the 1910 Tonypandy Riot, when troops fired on the public at the 1910, which was not true.) The Daughter of Time is actually truth and it is said she based her fiction upon Clements Markham's “Richard III”—a book I can’t wait to get my little fingers on! I am not an expert on English history, far from it, but I always thought, from the little I knew of Richard III, that the murder didn’t fit his profile. Tey’s points are very well made and the thing that struck me the most was the fact that what is considered “historical account” was actually based upon Thomas More’s account. More was 7 years old when Richard died in 1485. His book The History of King Richard the Third was posthumously published in 1557 (More died in 1535), based upon the manuscripts her worked between 1512/1519. He lived under Henry VII (Tudor). It is interesting to notice that Tudor was a bastard branch, therefore, not in direct line to the throne. With the death of Richard, a line of heirs had the precedence over Henry Tudor, including his (illegitimate son, John of Gloucester. From Edward IV (his brother): Edward and Richard (the “princes in the Tower”), Richard of York, Elizabeth, Cicely, Annie, Katherine and Bridget. From Elizabeth, Duchess of York (sister): John. From George, Duque of Clarence (brother): Edward, and Margaret. Quite conveniently, almost all of them disappeared after Henry Tudor became king. If the princes had been murdered when Henry landed in England why didn’t he use it as a banner to bring the British to his cause? Much more is in this book I couldn’t put down. A really fascinating read. (Incidentally, Tey is the nom de plume of Elizabeth Mackintosh, who also wrote as Gordon Daviot. So if you enjoyed this as much as I did, look for her other books. Everything I read by her so far was excellent.

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