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.
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.
“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.
This is one of my all-time favourites, highly recommended to anyone interested in history.
It took me about 100 pages to get into this book. As a history lover, I wasn't too fond of the constant "historians are so misguided; you can't trust history books." But the piecing together of the evidence and the discussion of the ramifications of each piece was pretty interesting.
For any Richard III fan - very measured fictinoal account of his innocence
This was the biggest disappointment I have recently experienced in a book. Tey has written some very enjoyable and clever mysteries, but this one is excruciatingly boring because it consists solely of her signature detective Grant lying in a hospital bed and having conversations with people about whether or not Richard the third was such a bad guy. Characters quote from historical documents to one another, and say things like, "oh, really, I didn't know that," in response. Seriously, that is the entire book. Just awful as a novel, though it does contain some information which might have made a decent non-fiction book.
I couldn't agree more with Charlie68. I read this book years ago and must admit I revisit it from time to time. It made such a strong case for Richard III that by the end of it I was ready to run out and join the Richard III Society...not that I did. Those who enjoyed the protagonist might want to check out a few of Josephine Tey's other novels as well.
Great read that will make you check out the history for Richard III again. Took me four days to plow through this.
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