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The Daughter of Time

(Inspector Alan Grant #5)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  21,570 ratings  ·  2,792 reviews
Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is intrigued by a portrait of Richard III. Could such a sensitive face actually belong to a heinous villain — a king who killed his brother's children to secure his crown? Grant seeks what kind of man Richard was and who in fact killed the princes in the tower.
Paperback, 206 pages
Published November 29th 1995 by Scribner (first published 1949)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  21,570 ratings  ·  2,792 reviews

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Bill  Kerwin
Jun 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing

Perhaps the oddest and best mystery ever written. Police Inspector Grant, flat on his back in hospital, solves the historical mystery of Richard III and the Little Princes in the Tower.

I know, I know--sounds boring. But it isn't. A fascinating meditation on history, propaganda, prejudice and memory.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2018-completed
In 1951, Josephine Tey wrote her 5th novel in the Inspector Grant series. In 1990, this mystery novel was named the greatest mystery novel of all time by the British Crime Writers' Association. After reading it, I can definitely see why.

For one thing, during the entire novel, Inspector Alan Grant is confined to bed with a broken leg and a strained back. He is an inspector for Scotland Yard – an active man, relying on his brains and his brawn to help him solve cases. He also studies f

This day was our good King Richard piteously slain and murdered; to the great heaviness of this city.

If you take the "players" in The War of the Roses, and place them in more modern times- one could almost compare them to The Mob fighting for control of their territory...

[image error] photo 7e556faa-8d6b-4ffe-b05b-1acd5c793c03_zps6263e8c9.jpg

...and when I first started to be interested in learning who all the "players"territory...
The author has created a skilful investigation of Richard III’s involvement in the deaths of his two nephews. Laid up with injuries in a hospital, Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is utterly bored with nothing to do except look at patterns on the ceiling. The Inspector has a canny knack for reading faces and as he looks upon Richard III’s portrait he doesn’t see a murderer, but more of a haunted man. Through a great deal of research on source documents, testimonies, and evaluating written reco ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Okay, now I’m convinced King Richard III didn’t have his two young nephews murdered in the Tower of London in the late 1400s. *gives Henry VII the hard side eye*

In this classic mystery by Josephine Tey, a laid-up British police inspector tries to prove, just for his own satisfaction, that Richard has been unfairly maligned by historians. An enthusiastic young American, an actress, and a nurse help out with his research. The novel ends up having quite a lot to say about human nature.<
Sarah (Presto agitato)
"Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
And all their ministers attend on him."

-William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act I, Scene III

Richard III is one of history’s most notorious villains. Thanks in large part to Shakespeare’s play, he is known as a remorseless usurper who murdered his young nephews, the “princes in the tower,” so that he could become King. He was King for less than two years, but he remains one of the more memorable characters from British history.

This is not an open-and-shut case. The “Ricardian” cont
Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is intrigued by a portrait of Richard III. Could such a sensitive face actually belong to a heinous villain — a king who killed his brother's children to secure his crown? Grant seeks what kind of man Richard was and who in fact killed the princes in the tower.

My Review: Many's the Golden Age mystery that, viewed by modern eyes and filtered through epithet-intolerant lenses, doesn't hold up well. This novel, published/>My/>The
I went into this book only knowing that it "proved" Richard III wasn't the wicked uncle who offed his nephews in the Tower. What I didn't know was that, after a rather snarky and fun intro that sets the scene of a cranky inspector bed-ridden with a broken leg, it would soon become a tedious story with dull pacing, boring dialogue, and a self-righteous tone.

The premise is based solely on Alan Grant's gut instinct that the face of Richard III in a portrait reproduction isn't the face o
Nov 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ellen by: Lynda
Shelves: novel, mysteries
It’s hard to read A Daughter of Time and not think of James Stewart, similarly laid up in Rear Window, which was produced only a few years later than Tey’s mystery.

In Hitchcock’s movie, the photographer casts a panoptic gaze at the people he can see through the many apartment windows available from his rear window, and plays detective, with the help of the ridiculously over-dressed Grace Kelly. Alan Grant, in Tey’s novel, similarly wounded in the line of duty, is an actual detective/inspector, from Scotla
The title threw me a little, but this turned out to be an interesting and entertaining mystery about the murder of the two Princes in the Tower. No one knows what really happened, but popular belief is that their uncle, Richard III, had them killed to clear his way to become King of England. Josephine Tey and her two main characters, Alan Grant and Brent Carradine, take a forensic, Scotland Yard approach to the crime, and come up with the conclusion that most of the history books are wrong. I've ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Richard III had been credited with the elimination of two nephews, and his name was a synonym for evil. But Henry VII, whose ‘settled and considered policy’ was to eliminate a whole family was regarded as a shrewd and far-seeing monarch. Not very lovable perhaps, but constructive and painstaking, and very successful withal. Grant gave up. History was something that he would never understand. The values of historians differed so radically from any values with which he was acquainted that he could ...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
Let me tell you about my one and only experience of being in a book club.

About twenty five years ago, a group of friends & friends-of-friends found out there was a government run group that would supply book clubs with the books & other materials they needed to run a monthly discussion. We all eagerly selected books we wanted to read, but, naively, most of us chose works by Margaret Atwood, Fay Weldon Isabel Allende and other popular writers of the day. Unfortunately, these works wer
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Read this but in light of recent events in Leicester I feel like reading this again.
For those who don't know recently archaeologists have been digging up a car park in Leicester in the hopes of finding Richard III. Heard today that they've found a skeleton in a medieval grave, with a curvature of the spine, a head injury and an arrow head in between two of the vertebrae. The skeleton was also found where records said he was buried in the choir of the church.
Now the debate is on as to wher
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
OK, after reading To the Tower Born, I got really hooked on the Richard III thing and about him maybe being a murderer or maybe not. So I read this book Daughter of Time, which went about attempting to prove Richard III's innocence in one of the most notorious unsolved crimes in history. Did he really murder his nephews in the Tower of London because they were a threat to his throne? Or has history painted a false picture of Richard III? This book takes a different angle and offers another villa ...more
Simona Bartolotta

“It’s an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you.”

A modern detective investigates on Richard III and the murder of the Princes in the Tower... I swear, sometimes it's like there are books written for you and you alone. (But since I am a generous person, you must can read it too.)
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Daughter of Time is an unlikely detective story. It's the story of a police inspector who, whilst laid up in bed because of a leg injury, is presented with a portrait of England's King Richard III (reigned 1483-1485) and comes to the conclusion that a man so genteel-looking couldn't possibly be the ruthless murderer Shakespeare made him out to be, because 'villains don't suffer, and that face is full of the most dreadful pain' (judge for yourself here). So with a little help from the nurses and the fr ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in British history
"When the legend becomes truth, print the legend." --The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

I once commented, to one of my college history classes, that there are a number of basic ideas about history that "everybody knows;" but that unfortunately what "everybody knows" often turns out to be a bunch of handed-down hooey. ("History" may also consist of deliberate lies invented to smear one's political opposition.) The idea that King Richard III of England (1483-85) callously murdered his two nephews, the f--The
Once upon a time, in deepest darkest 2012, I was fortunate enough to be a law student at the University of Edinburgh, at just about the time when people were starting to make the big noises about whether a referendum on Scottish independence would be feasible. There was a debate on between a member of the department, and quite an eminent constitutional lawyer of whom I have long been in an intellectual sort of awe, so I went along.

The topic of the debate was whether, if the Scottish
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Who dunneth it? Did Richard III really order his young nephews killed in the Tower of London, or was he unjustly implicated as part of a massive smear campaign? If you’re Alan Grant, the recuperating Inspector from Scotland Yard, the answer becomes increasingly clear. Grant took the case to begin with because he was bored and bed-ridden and couldn’t chase live, motile bad guys. He became interested in Richard based on a random set of pictures a lady friend gave him in the hospital. In perhaps th ...more
While I do well now realise and accept that Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time is in many ways rather massively speculative with regard to Richard III and the fate of his two young nephews Edward and Richard, the so-called princes in the tower (the Tower of London, to be exact), I still and always will have both a nostalgic love for The Daughter of Time and yes, indeed, continue to be impressed with and by Josephine Tey's narration and much of her background research (and of course by extension also h ...more
This book had the potential to really engage me--it deals with Richard III and all the various permutations of the Yorkist, Lancastrian and Tudor factions in late medieval England, and it's not badly written at all. Unfortunately, there were so many little things in it which frustrated me that I was completely soured to the author's argument--that Richard III was innocent of the murder of the Princes in the Tower--by the time I finished reading.

Though there are elements of her argume
Ivonne Rovira
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, of course! Except Lisa, whom we still love!
Recommended to Ivonne by: a girl in my journalism class in 1985
I first read this novel donkeys’ years ago in paper form. This time, when reading it again as a buddy read with two lovely and talented GoodReads pals, Delee and Lisa, I utterly melted as I listened to the amazing Derek Jacobi’s mellifluous voice as the narrator. If you can get The Daughter of Time as an audiobook, be sure to do so!

I’ve long loved this book so much that I even dragged my husband into joining this buddy read!

The Daughter of Time is the fourth installment of author Josephine Tey’s I/>The
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
From a literary standpoint? Eh. From an academic standpoint, which was why I read the book in the first place? Double-eh.

The prose is smooth and easy enough to follow, and the insertion of historical facts is presented in a fairly interesting way. Much preferable over a textbook, definitely. But the characterization? Non-existent. Style? Themes? Nothing. It's obvious that Tey just isn't a fiction author. But that's okay, I was expecting that.

However, from an academic view
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clever little book which causes me something of a dilemma – do I put it on the fiction shelf or that reserved for non fiction?

A fictitious Scotland Yard Inspector, hospitalised following a fall, sets to work with the aid of a young, fictional American research assistant, to look into the life of the much maligned Richard III. They focus on contemporary/ near contemporary chroniclers and records of the time and also what successive historians have written about the man and the King.
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Also posted on my blog, with a little more blather.

Edison single-handedly discovered electricity. Paul Revere made a midnight ride to warn village folk that the British were approaching. Of course, Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover America. Richard III had his two young nephews killed off in the Tower of London. These are some "the sky is blue, grass is green" basic truths of history.

Well, the sky does, often, appear blue, and grass is, under certain condition
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: josephine-tey
3.5 to be precise

The idea of investigating a 400 years old murder is interesting. However I would enjoyed it more if I had a background knowledge of England during the 15th century. Still it was curious enough to read.

The story revolves around inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, who's recovering in the hospital from a broken leg and who gets bored there. His friend brings him a collection of face portraits (Since Grant is interested in analyzing human faces) to pass time, and he
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
While recovering from injuries suffered on the job, Inspector Alan Grant is searching for something to occupy his mind. Having an affinity for faces, Grant is given a stack of portraits and photos of men and women to study. After coming across a photo of historical villain Richard III, Grant recalls the murder of Richard’s two young nephews and despite never being proven guilty of the crime, history has written him as a murderer. With little to do, Grant becomes obsessed with examining the evide ...more
Terence M
Read many years ago - I was acting in Richard III at the time - and enjoyed it immensely!
Audiobook - 05:21 Hours - Narrator - Derek Jacobi
Reading (Listening) for second time

Most enjoyable, but the magic of the story was a little mollified by my memories of having read and acted in the play of Richard III, plus having read Daughter of Time at about the same time.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I want to give this book a higher rating based purely on the inventiveness of the plot: a detective for Scotland Yard, immobilized in the hospital by an injury, decides to occupy himself with a historical mystery - Cold Case, Hospital Edition, essentially. The mystery he eventually lands on is one that everyone has at least a passing knowledge of: Is Richard III the hunchbacked monster who stole his brother's throne and murdered his nephews, or was someone else responsible for the deaths of the infamous ...more
Nancy Oakes
I have an extra copy of this edition of this novel if someone in the US would like it. I'll be happy not only to give it to you, but to also pay postage. Just leave a comment here & it's yours.

What a delightful book! This is maybe the third time I've read it, but now with a better background in medieval history, and historical theory in general, it made a lot more sense. The standard view is that the young princes Edward and Richard, the sons of King Edward IV (brother of Richard II
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Josephine Tey was a pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh. Josephine was her mother's first name and Tey the surname of an English Grandmother. As Josephine Tey, she wrote six mystery novels including Scotland Yard's Inspector Alan Grant.

The first of these, 'The Man in the Queue' (1929) was published under the pseudonym of Gordon Daviot , whose name also appears on the title page of another of

Other books in the series

Inspector Alan Grant (6 books)
  • The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1)
  • A Shilling for Candles (Inspector Alan Grant, #2)
  • The Franchise Affair (Inspector Alan Grant, #3)
  • To Love and Be Wise (Inspector Alan Grant, #4)
  • The Singing Sands (Inspector Alan Grant, #6)
“It's an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don't want to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it. If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed.

Very odd, isn't it.”
“The truth of anything at all doesn't lie in someone's account of it. It lies in all the small facts of the time. An advertisement in a paper, the sale of a house, the price of a ring.” 19 likes
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