Friday, January 18, 2013

Reading List: The Daughter of Time

The Daughter of Time
by Josephine Tey

Part of what I love so much about bookstores is that they have an infinite ability to surface the unexpected.  Praise ebooks as the future all you want, and marvel at your early adoption of the format, but for me there's nothing about it that compares to visiting a bookstore.  One of the most peculiar aspects of a bookstore is the bargain section.  Now, the bargain section is a mix of things that were once bestsellers and things that just didn't sell, and some of it seems calculated to be bargain material to begin with.  It's always worth browsing.  The Daughter of Time is a classic piece of detective fiction.  I wonder if I would have ever discovered it if I hadn't stumbled across it as a bargain book.  These things happen.  The introduction in this volume says Tey's readers fall in love with her books.  But the thing is, Tey doesn't have a reputation like Agatha Christie (who I must confess I've never read).  She's all but forgotten.  It's the title of the book that drew me to Daughter of Time.  It just sounds memorable, even without knowing anything else about it.  And in fact I didn't know anything else when I bought it, other than what was on the back cover.  It's a contemporary investigation of Richard III, so it works on a number of levels at least conceptually.


  1. Agreed about bookstores. I have never found any eshoppong that can compare to browsing at the bookstore. I support mine for just that reason. I've pretty much stopped buying ebooks I they're available as a print one.

    1. To a certain extent ebooks are a craze right now. They aren't replacing physical books. They're something people are doing right now because they're supposed to be doing it. Some of them, like you, are shaking out of it, because the experience is similar but it's not the same.

  2. Still remember my absolute pleasure in reading Daughter of Time and giving out copies with a post card of Richard III tucked in. BBC should resurrect the character of Alan Grant and put him, and his ability to read faces, into the 21st century. Bonus, I think the novel changed people's minds about history. Thanks for this column, I'm going to link it to the Isaac Sidel page. - Lenore


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