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The Daughter of Time
The Daughter of Time
Author: Josephine Tey
When Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is confined to a hospital bed, a friend brings him an assortment of pictures of famous historical figures. Grant is engrossed with the portrait of King Richard III and wonders how such an apparently sensitive soul could have murdered his own nephews to secure the British crown for himself. With the help of...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781572704664
ISBN-10: 1572704667
Publication Date: 3/10/2005
Edition: Unabridged
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Book Type: Audio CD
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

ccwriter avatar reviewed The Daughter of Time on + 186 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
For mystery lovers and history lovers alike -- this book takes a look at the "murder of the Princes in the tower" by a modern-day detective who is laid up in the hospital. Riveting!
PIZZELLEBFS avatar reviewed The Daughter of Time on + 331 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
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reviewed The Daughter of Time on
Fabulous mystery. All the facts presented about Richard III are truly facts. The novel is set in modern times. A quick read, page turner. Was Richard III really the hunchbacked monster of Shakespeare's play???
One of my all-time favorite mysteries.
reviewed The Daughter of Time on + 30 more book reviews
A fine reading of the classic historical mystery about Richard III and the crimes attributed to him in Shakespeare's play and sir Thomas More's account.

As in her other novels, Tey has the ability to engage the reader's emotional partiality for her favorite characters, and dislike for her villains, who come to life in vivid colors. She could write circles around the other queens of classic crime, Sayers and Christie, though her plots, as she admitted herself, were not original.
reviewed The Daughter of Time on
One of my all time favorites and ranked #4 of the 100 Best Mysteries.
A very nice audio version. complete and unabridged.
Derek Jacobi (Brother Cadfael, I Claudius) does a great job with the various voices.
maura853 avatar reviewed The Daughter of Time on + 523 more book reviews
Apart from launching me on a life-long crush on the Last of the Plantagenets (for which I offer no apologies. He didn't do it ...), I guess this book appealed to my 12-year-old self because it was probably the first time I'd read anything that allowed that Received Wisdom on history, as represented by the childish textbooks that Alan Grant first consults, might be dead wrong, and that the evidence, if you make the effort to pursue it methodically, might lead you to very different interpretations.

And aside from the crush on the soulful, doomed King (and it didn't hurt that, IMHO, Richard bears a striking resemblance to a young Tom Courtney, who I also had a massive crush on at the time), it also alerted me to the joy of research -- of digging down, and finding the facts for yourself, from primary sources -- the satisfaction of digging around for yourself, in encyclopaedias and library card catalogues back then, in google now.

But how does The Daughter of Time stand the Test of Time?

I would say, pretty darn ok: like Hitchcock's Rear Window, it is static and limited in space to the hospital room of Inspector Alan Grant, who is confined to bed with a spinal injury received, accidentally, in the line of duty. There isn't a great deal of emotional depth -- if Grant could have died, or could have been permanently crippled by his fall, no one seems bothered to reflect on the "what might have beens." Friends, colleagues and hospital staff float in and out of his line of vision -- but there doesn't seem to be any great depth to these relationships. Actress friend (girlfriend? If so, pretty arm's-length, if you ask me ...) Marta is no Grace Kelly who (in the movie) seemed to really have the hots for James Stewart.

BUT ... that's not what it's about. However "between the lines" it may be, Grant is suffering from a kind of PTSD -- and never far from his imaginings are the "what might have beens" that he could have been permanently disabled, and never again able to put to good use his obvious skills, observational and analytical, as a police detective. That the pitted, cracked hospital ceiling over his head might be his only outlook, forever, and his only entertainment the antics of the medical staff who poke and prod him (and surely have to do much more humiliating things for him), and the pathetically bad popular novels that well-meaning friends have decided are suitable for poor sufferers like himself.

Using those observational and analytical skills to restore the reputation of a long-dead king is not only therapy -- you could say that there are parallels between Grant, bed-ridden and reduced in stature, and a king who (some would argue. At length.) had only the good of his family and his kingdom at heart, and was reduced in stature and reputation, and killed, by those who played the game a bit more cleverly.

He didn't do it. Unless, of course, he did-- another thing I have this book to thank for is the lesson not to trust my own inclinations and prejudices -- evidence! Look at the evidence! To accept that they were different times, and we can never know what what going through the mind of Richard, in those two years and (approximately) 2 months that he was king. Could he possibly have thought it was worth it, doing a truly terrible thing -- to achieve the peace of the Kingdom (which was so nearly within his grasp), and the possibility of ruling as he saw fit, without the interference of the Dowager Queen and her upstart family? Who knows?

But, no. Team Richard ... always.

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