The Daughter of Time

The Daughter of Time
by: Josephine Tey

Challenges: What’s in a Name?

Published: 1951

# of pages: 206

Don’t ask me how this ended up on my TBR list. It’s been on it for years though, I can’t remember what made me put it on there. I have to say, I was disappointed when I finally read it!

The story is about Inspector Grant of Scotland Yard, who was injured during a case and is in the hospital…bored out of his mind. One of his friends decides to help him find something to do to pass the time and gives him a stack of portraits since he likes to analyze faces so much. Grant is immediately drawn to a portrait of Richard III, ruler of England in the 1400s. Richard was known as being a “monster,” but Grant is struck by the fact that he looks so respectable in his portrait. Convinced that he isn’t seeing the face of a murderer, he decides to discover what really happened over 400 years ago that left Richard with a grisly reputation.

What I didn’t like about this book was the fact that the reader doesn’t get to know the characters, even Grant, very well. However, I discovered that Tey wrote several other books that feature Inspector Grant before The Daughter of Time. This is a stand alone novel, but I think that by the time Tey wrote this novel she no longer had to introduce the characters as much. So perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I read her other books first.

Also, while the historical facts are very interesting, I felt like they could have been conveyed even better. The majority of the book is dialogue about history. There’s so much information in so few pages. I would read and feel like I had read so much, only to realize that it was only 3 pages worth. I think that there could have been a better way to present the information. Maybe spread it out more, only put what was really relevant to the mystery, or just make it more interesting by putting more of the modern day story about Grant in between to break it up.

Anyway, the good thing about this book was that it does cover an interesting subject that I didn’t know anything about before picking it up. Now I’m interested in Richard III and have even done a little bit of extra research to find out more about him and what people in our modern time think of him (Wikipedia counts as research, right?). It was neat how history is presented in a mystery form and that Inspector Grant goes about solving it just as he would a crime case assigned to him by the Scotland Yard. I was also interested to read on Wiki that Richard III was actually given a modern day “trial” in 1997 to formally decide whether or not he was guilty of the crimes attributed to him. Apparently Inspector Grant wasn’t the only one who wondered more about this mysterious historical figure.

Overall I don’t rate this very high because I feel like it could have been written in a more agreeable and interesting way. I recommend this to lovers of history, especially medieval history.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post your review!


One thought on “The Daughter of Time

  1. I was looking at your TBR lists. I read and enjoyed “The Shack”, “The Pillars of the Earth”, and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. Of course, I realize that we don't know each others' book tastes, but I wanted to give you a thumbs up on them. I am an avid reader and am always looking for suggestions.


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