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The Daughter of Time
By Josephine Tey
Read by Derek Jacobi

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The Daughter of Time

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The Daughter of Time
By Josephine Tey
Read by Derek Jacobi
The Audio Partners Publishing Corp., (2000)
A Complete and Unabridged Audio Recording on 4 Cassettes
ISBN: 1-57270-138-2
Genre: Mystery
Other Available Editions: Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - August 6, 2001

Going to the hospital is never fun, but what can be even worse is having to suffer through a long recuperation period in which you are confined to bed. Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard finds himself in just such a predicament, and he is finding the boredom intolerable. To take his mind off his situation he is willing to try just about anything. So, when a friend gives him some historical portraits to look at, he puts on his inspector's cap and tries to discern whether the person depicted is a 'good' or 'bad' guy, just by how they look.

This little game soon takes a more intense turn when Grant comes across a portrait of Richard III. He begins to wonder what really happened to the two little princes in the tower that Richard was purported to have killed. Historically, Richard III was supposed to have incarcerated his two little nephews, Edward the Prince of Wales, and Richard the Duke of York. When it appeared that their presence might make some question Richard's right to the throne, he had them murdered. As Grant reviews the historical evidence, he begins to wonder, did Richard really have the boys killed, and if so why? And on another line of reasoning, were the boys indeed murdered, and if so, was their anyone other than Richard III who might have wanted the boys killed? With a detective's determination to get to the bottom of the crime, Grant begins, from his hospital bed, the task of unraveling a 500-year-old mystery. Along the way he corrals everyone one he can to help in his research, including the nursing staff, his friends, and Carradine, an American researcher.

In The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey has crafted a marvelously complex and deliciously intriguing mystery. A mystery that not only entertains, but also, quite painlessly, teaches the reader a little bit about English history. In this story she allows Grant to come to some fascinating conclusions about what happened to the Princes in the Tower. Conclusions that are backed up with ample evidence to give one pause to consider whether Grant's conclusion might actually be right. Be forewarned, this is a story that may send you back to the history books to do a little of your own research.

The Daughter of Time was first published in 1951, shortly before Tey's death in 1952. Josephine Tey was one of the pen name of Elizabeth MacKintosh, who was born around 1896 in Inverness, Scotland. She began writing when she was quite young, but it was not until 1929 that her first novel The Man in the Queue, written under the pen name Gordon Daviot, was published. In its pages, Inspector Grant was 'born', and he was to reappear in five out of her eight novels. Tey had an analytical mind, and it is obvious that The Daughter of Time is more than just a fine mystery. It is also a treatise on how simple it is for governments and influential people to rewrite history to their own liking and by doing so, to ingenuously back up their own versions of events. In other words, never trust a 'fact' simply because it has made its way into the history books. As Grant finds out, history books are not always as accurate as they should be.

This unabridged audio recording is read by Derek Jacobi, a renowned actor. He is, perhaps, most widely known for his role as Brother Cadfael in the PBS-TV mystery series of the same name, and for his role as Claudius, in the miniseries I, Claudius. His reading is superb. He gives each character a uniqueness that brings them fully to life, and as an extra bonus, he does some delightful impressions of 'little old ladies'. You may find, however, that it takes a little time to get accustomed his style of reading. Jacobi reads a bit fast for my liking, but not overly so. And I quickly found that his pace was well suited for this tale. After all, no one could ever imagine an energetic man such as Inspector Grant speaking at a leisurely pace!

This audio edition of The Daughter of Time comes with insert cards containing the family trees of Ralph Nevill, progenitor of the Princes in the Tower, and of Edward III, progenitor of Richard III and Henry VII.

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In addition to this audio edition, The Daughter of Time is also available in Standard Print - Paperback

The Daughter of Time was also issued in large print, however that edition is now out of print. The ISBN for the large print edition is 0851192939.

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