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The Daughter of Time

(Inspector Alan Grant #5)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  25,057 ratings  ·  3,227 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. ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published November 29th 1995 by Scribner (first published 1951)
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Peter Paar It is taken from a quote attributed to Francis Bacon — "Truth is the daughter of time."…moreIt is taken from a quote attributed to Francis Bacon — "Truth is the daughter of time."(less)
Sue Bursztynski No. It's standalone. I didn't read any of the others till about a year ago.…moreNo. It's standalone. I didn't read any of the others till about a year ago.(less)
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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 faces and use

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" were. I felt like Karen Hill at her wedding- when Paulie Cicero was introducing her to "The Family"...."This is cousin Paulie, and my ne
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dead-tree
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 of an evil mu
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.

October 2018
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-a
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
Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: returned, borrowed
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 in
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
Nov 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ellen by: Lynda
Shelves: mysteries, novel
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,
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
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So let's see, there's Richard, whose father was also Richard, and his brother Edward, whose sons were named Edward and (drum roll) Richard. Couldn't one be called Rich, and the other Dickie? Ed, and Eddie? No, let's just add another numeral at the end. Instead of the handily-provided family tree, couldn't someone make up a rhyme, or a jingle? Oh-so enjoyable, however, and unlike most murder mysteries it has great reread potential since it really isn't about whodunit. ...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 were being sele
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, th
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
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 where the
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 B

“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 ...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 extensio ...more
John Anthony
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. The 2 men w
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 arguments with whi
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 Parliament w
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
Charles  van Buren
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An unusual and intriguing novel

This novel does not neatly fall into a genre. It is regarded as a mystery, possibly because Josephine Tey was an author of mysteries. However if you are looking for a traditional mystery look elsewhere. The crime occurred some 400 years before the investigation related in this novel. Despite the age of the crime it is not a historical mystery of the Ellis Peters Brother Cadfael sort. The investigators are alive and working in the present. At least the present of a
The "Daughter of Time" title is a quotation from the work of Sir Francis Bacon: "Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority."

Last year I read Josephine Tey’s Brat Farrar and quite enjoyed it. Tey is known for writing early mysteries, so I had expected somewhat the same fare from Daughter of Time, but I was wrong. There is a mystery at the heart of this novel, but it is a long debated one, the mystery of the Princes in the Tower and the blaming of their deaths on King Richard III, their
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.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating and utterly convincing mystery novel (of sorts) that examines the question of whether Richard III really killed his young nephews, concluding that he likely did not and that Henry VII was a far more likely suspect. The novel reminds us that all history is a construct, often written for particular political ends, and that we should never hesitate to interrogate received wisdom.
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 viewing, the book falls shor
This book makes the top of many crime and mystery books lists, has received very high praise through the decades since its publication. I also read that this book is what inspired Hitchcock's "Rear Window". For those reasons, I made a big exception - I read it even though there are several books ahead of it in the series (normally I simply have to read things in order, it's a compulsion of mine).

The Rear Window inspiration is quite clear - Inspector Grant is laid up with a broken leg, and is ti
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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 featuring 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 her 19

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)

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“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.” 21 likes
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