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The Richard III Society

Promoting research into the life and times of Richard III since 1924

Patron: HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO

Further reading

Non-Fiction

Fiction

Daughter of Time

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Ricardian Fiction

Title Author Year
Dickon: an historical romance
The author was an early supporter of the Fellowship of the White Boar - this is her account of Richard's life, rather romantic and old-fashioned to modern readers.
Bowen, Marjorie1929
Under the Hog
Covering the period 1470 to 1485, this is still one of the best novels on the life of Richard III, especially for those who do not care for 'historical romances'.
Carleton, Patrick1937
My Lords Richard
A first person narrative - Anne Neville movingly relates the story of her life, and of the two Richards she loved, her father and her husband.
Davidson, Margaret1979
Some Touch of Pity
A well-researched and movingly told account of the events of 1483 to 1485, seen through the eyes of several narrators including Richard, Anne Neville, Francis Lovell and Dr Hobbes.
Edwards, Rhoda1976
Fortune's Wheel
A well-researched and movingly told account of the lives of Richard and Anne from 1468 to 1472.
Edwards, Rhoda1978
He who plays the King
An unromantic account of the two who were to be king, Richard III and Henry Tudor, from 1459 to 1485.
Hocking, Mary1980
Richard by the Grace of God
An account of Richard's life from 1461 to 1485, with extracts from contemporary letters and chronicles woven into the narrative.
Honeyman, Brenda1968
We Speak no Treason
A deeply felt account of Richard's life revealed through the narratives of the Maiden who loved him, Patch the Court Fool and the Man of Keen Sight who served him.
Jarman, Rosemary Hawley1971
The Confession of Richard Plantagenet
Covering the period 1471 to 1485, it depicts a saint-like Richard committing the traditional crimes but for the noblest reasons.
McChesney, Dora1913
The White Boar
The events of 1465 to 1485 seen through the eyes of Francis Lovell and his (fictional) cousin.
Palmer, Marian1969
The Sunne in Splendour
Covering the period 1459 to 1485, this is a detailed (over 1000 pages) and sympathetic account of Richard's life as a loyal brother, a devoted husband and father, and a trusting friend.
Penman, Sharon1983
The Daughter of Time
Classic detective novel which has introduced many people to the controversy surrounding Richard III. A 20th- century police inspector investigates the mystery of the disappearance of the Princes.
Tey, Josephine1951
Loyalty Binds Me
Sympathetic retelling of the story of Richard's life from 1463 to 1485, a life dedicated to the service of his brother.
Trevan, Ruth1966
The Last Plantagenet: a study of Richard III, King of England, France and Ireland
Covering Richard's life from 1459 to 1485, with more about his childhood and adolescence than in most novels.
Whittle, Tyler1968
The Rose of York, Crown of Destiny and Fall from Grace
Trilogy charting the life of Richard of Gloucester as duke and king and his love for Anne Neville.
Worth, Sandra

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The Daughter of Time

Book coverJosephine TeyThe Daughter of Time is a detective novel by the late Josephine Tey. Born Elizabeth Mackintosh, she was also a well-known playwright. She used the pseudonym Gordon Daviot and her most successful play was Richard of Bordeaux. The Daughter of Time is undoubtedly the most popular of her crime novels and deals with the controversy of King Richard III in an innovative way. It has inspired Ricardians all over the world and below are a few appreciations of the novel by the members of the Society, including the late Lesley Boatwright.

The novel has also stood the test of time and was one of the books selected for the BBC Radio 4 programme 'A Good Read' on 8 January 2006. It had been chosen by Sue McGregor and her fellow readers were Michael Berkeley, the composer, and Kerry Shale, the American actor. All three enjoyed the book with MacGregor and Shale convinced that Richard wasn't a rotter after all; Berkeley wasn't quite convinced but felt it was possible that Richard hadn't killed the Princes.

From Josephine Tewson

Josephine Tewson
I have always loved detective novels, and in my youth I was working my way through the Inspector Grant books by Josephine Tey. I opened The Daughter of Time and found my Inspector flat on his back in a hospital bed, finding it awkward to pass the time and bored.

A friend of his brings several postcards of historical faces, all connected with mysteries or plots. Inspector Grant has always prided himself on being able to judge, from a face, the character of the person, or at least the basic quality of being good or bad.

He is intrigued by one face especially: the face, he decides of a good man, a worrier, a man with a conscience.

Book coverThen, on turning the portrait over, he finds that the caption reads 'Richard III'. The original wicked uncle who killed the Princes in the Tower and as evil a person as you could get! He then decides to investigate the case against Richard, using modern police procedure and the book, from then on, is one of the great and most enjoyable detective novels I have ever read. The by-product of all this was to get me very interested in the York/Lancaster period of history and eventually I became a member of the Richard III Society. So many thanks to Josephine Tey and, in case you are wondering – 'Truth is the Daughter of Time'.

From Lesley Boatwright

The Daughter of Time – the Mother of all Lessons.

Lesley Boatwright
A friend at work told me about Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time. 'Read it,' she said. 'You'll never be the same again'. I read it. I wasn't. It taught me the mother of all lessons.

The motif of the unhistoricity of history soon emerges. There are some gorgeous iconoclastic moments before we even get going on the story of Richard III. The haze of white veils is stripped away from Mary Queen of Scots, who is seen as an essentially silly woman, and Richard III 'rockets to and fro about the earth like a badly made firework'.

Detective Inspector Grant was interested in faces. Lying injured in hospital, he was given a copy of a portrait of Richard III, and it fascinated him. It made the medical staff think of illness, and the policemen think of a judge. Matron thought it a face showing desperate unhappiness. Grant himself thought it made the Mona Lisa look like a poster.

To get at the man inhabiting the face, Grant read books and employed a researcher, stripping away the hearsay evidence so hated by all true detectives and piecing together the results to reach a Not Guilty verdict on all charges. And all the time the message comes across: people rearrange history for their own benefit.

Book coverThe traducing of Richard to prop up the Tudor throne was not an isolated piece of deception. History with a purpose may be not only economical with the truth, but also marvellously generous with the innuendos. Things get distorted and the distortions become history. The book has a word for it – Tonypandy.

In 1910, in Tonypandy in the Rhondda valley, a body of London Metropolitan police were sent down to confront striking miners, 'armed with nothing more than their rolled-up mackintoshes'. Later ages said the government used troops to shoot at the miners striking for their rights. Two women in Wigtown were said to have been tied to stakes in the sea and drowned for their faith – but had really been convicted of treason on a civil charge and not executed at all, but reprieved on their own petition by the Privy Council. 'Very superior, first growth, dyed-in-the-wool Tonypandy,' said Grant's researcher, when he heard of it.

People at the time know a story is not true, but allow it to spread without contradiction, either out of inertia or for their own ends.

We can all think of Tonypandy Tales from our own day. The Daughter of Time taught me to fight against Tonypandy, whenever and wherever it is to be found.

From Jane Trump

Jane Trump
Unlike with many Ricardians, The Daughter of Time did not introduce me to Richard III. Another fiction book, in the Shakespearean tradition, enthralled me with the wicked but fascinating nobleman who engineered his way to the throne of England. What The Daughter of Time did for me was to open my eyes to the historical Richard and to the debate raging around him. Josephine Tey cemented my interest and my aim to find the truth.

Tey understands the attraction Richard has for Ricardians. Inspector Grant's observations about the famous portrait ring so true. The nervous, apprehensive look, the playing with the rings, depicting a man uncertain and tortured by… what? We don't know. However, the portrait certainly does not depict a man of Richard's reputation, an evil man who would murder his own kin to obtain ultimate power. We are intrigued as to the kind of man he is and what lies behind the expression.

Through The Daughter of Time we learn the complexities of Ricardian research and are introduced to the main characters, those we love to hate, like John Morton and those we distrust, like Henry Stafford. The calm and barrenness of the hospital room provide stark contrast to the fast-moving and colourful political events of 1483 to 1485 and the shifting sands of loyalty and yet somehow they empathise with Grant's objective analysis of the historical situation. Tey is pro-Ricardian in sympathy and yet this is as a result of sound historical techniques, not a romantic notion. Grant is open-minded at the beginning, merely curious to learn more about this enigmatic man. It is through his detective work that he finds a man condemned unfairly by history through Tudor propaganda.

Book coverHowever, what I empathise most with in The Daughter of Time is Grant's reaction to learning that he is not the first to defend Richard, that other historians from the Stuart period onwards had been there first. His is a mixture of pleasure but disappointment that he was not a pioneer. That is exactly how I felt when, after reading this book, I embarked on my crusade for Richard. I was convinced that I was a lone campaigner. To discover the Richard III Society, with its many members, gave me, like Grant, very mixed feelings. Delight at finding like-minded people but a certain irrational disappointment that I was not one of a 'select few' in the know!

The Daughter of Time is available from the Society's Shop.

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