All the news about Richard III has reminded me of Josephine Tey’s great 1951 detective novel, The Daughter of Time.
The book began the most recent rehabilitation of Richard III, who until its publication was known in modern times mostly by his evil Shakespearian reputation.
Tey’s hero, Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world’s most heinous villains — a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother’s children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England’s throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.
If you haven’t ever read it, now’s the time. And at just 204 pages, it’s the type of book that can be read and enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon, but will stay with you for decades.