The Daughter of Time

Josephine Tey

Illustrated by Mark Smith

Introduced by Alison Weir

The Daughter of Time remains Josephine Tey’s most enduringly popular mystery. Can a bed-ridden 20th-century detective solve a 500-year-old crime? With illustrations by series artist Mark Smith.

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‘Most people will find The Daughter of Time as interesting and enjoyable a book as they will meet in a month of Sundays’

  1. Observer

The murder of the young princes in the Tower of London in 1483 is the most notorious crime in English royal history. The prime suspect has long been Richard III, portrayed as a monster by everyone from early propagandists writing immediately after Richard’s death to Shakespeare himself. In this, the book repeatedly voted one of the best mystery novels of all time, queen of Golden Age crime Josephine Tey tackles the question of Richard’s guilt via her own celebrated detective. 

Production details

Bound in blocked Buckram

Set in Dante with Station No. 5 display

224 pages

Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations

Printed endpapers

9˝ x 5¾˝

Curiosity piqued by a portrait

‘Josephine Tey has always been absolutely reliable in producing original and mysterious plots with interesting characters and unguessable endings.’ 

  1. Spectator

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is recuperating in hospital after an accident when he chances upon a portrait of Richard III. Famed for his unerring ability to ‘pick a face’, Grant’s experience as a detective has taught him the kind of countenance to expect of a criminal. He is unconvinced that the noble face looking back at him is that of a heartless usurper, capable of ordering his nephews to be smothered and their small bodies hidden under the very stones of the Tower. Intrigued, Grant launches an investigation from his bedside, determined to prove Richard’s innocence or guilt. Assisted and hindered in turns by his tyrannical nurses, a glamorous actress and an American student, Grant unearths a surprising quantity of evidence...

This edition is produced in series with our Josephine Tey collection. Mark Smith returns to provide a series of beautiful illustrations that make clever use of shadows and silhouettes, bringing together the disparate worlds of Alan Grant’s hospital surroundings and 15th-century England. The binding depicts the detective chasing after the ever-elusive princes and the endpapers are printed with the family trees of Edward III and Ralph Nevill, the 1st Earl of Westmorland.

The endlessly controversial king

‘The Daughter of Time accomplished what previous literary efforts on Richard III’s behalf had not: it made research seem romantic, even noble, and made the quest to clear a man’s name seem possible for anyone with a library card or willing friends.’ 

  1. New Yorker

In her introduction to this volume, historian and author Alison Weir looks at the impact The Daughter of Time had on the debate surrounding Richard III, noting that the novel reached a far greater audience than ‘any history book’, helping to form opinions and inspire research for decades. While the truth of the mystery may still be in question – and still hotly debated, in part thanks to the recent recovery of Richard’s remains – there is no doubt, says Weir, that The Daughter of Time remains ‘one of the century’s greatest works of fiction’.

About Josephine Tey

Josephine Tey was the pen-name of Elizabeth MacKintosh, playwright and author of some of the finest detective novels from the Golden Age of crime fiction. She was born in Inverness in 1896, and taught physical education for a number of years before the success of her first book, The Man in the Queue, in 1929. The book introduced her detective protagonist Inspector Grant of Scotland Yard, who would appear in a further five novels: A Shilling for Candles (1936), The Franchise Affair (1948), To Love and Be Wise (1950), The Daughter of Time (1951) and The Singing Sands (1952). Her standalone mysteries include Miss Pym Disposes (1946) and Brat Farrar (1949). Tey also wrote for the theatre, under the pseudonym Gordon Daviot, and had a notable success with Richard of Bordeaux in 1932, starring John Gielgud in the title role. She died in 1952, leaving her entire estate to the National Trust.


Alison Weir is a British historian and novelist. She has written widely on the British monarchy and researched the lives of all the medieval queens of England. Her first published work was Britain’s Royal Families (1989), and subsequently she has written a number of biographies including The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1991); The Princes in the Tower (1992; The Folio Society, 1999; republished as Richard III and the Princes in the Tower, 2014); Elizabeth the Queen (1998); Isabella: She-Wolf of France, Queen of England (2005); and Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen (2013). Her first historical novel was Innocent Traitor (2006), and since then she has published six more novels, most recently Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession (2017). Weir is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has been made an honorary life patron of the Historic Royal Palaces.

About Mark Smith

Mark Smith’s work has been recognised by all the major industry award panels, including Communication Arts, SPD, the V&A Illustration Awards and the UK Association of Illustrators. He has also achieved repeated recognition for his work on the Folio Society series of Josephine Tey novels from 3x3 magazine, New York Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles Society of Illustrators, and the American Illustration annual. As well as books, Smith’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times and GQ among others.


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