Seduced by the Story

History Imagined: For Readers, Writers, & Lovers of Historical Fiction

A man who is interested in what makes people tick doesn’t write history. He writes novels .. . A man who understands about people hasn’t any yen to write history.

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time

Josephine Tey wrote The Daughter of Time in 1951 as a ferocious critique of historians and downloadtheir methods wrapped up in a ripping good mystery novel. I am astounded I only recently discovered her work. Those of us who revel in both history and fiction are well advised to study her art.

In the book, Tey’s hero, Alan Grant is a policeman who has been laid up by an injury and confined to his bed. A chance view of a portrait of Richard III piques his interest. Richard III is Shakespeare’s hunchbacked villain who murdered his two nephews and sealed their bodies in the Tower of London to be discovered two hundred years later…

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