The Daughter Of Time By Josephine Tey

Essay, Research Paper

Josephine Tey?s The Daughter of Time is a historical novel that looks at the belief that

Richard III, King of England, murdered his two nephews in order to maintain his power. This novel also

supports the belief that the ?truth comes out through time.? In the novel the main character, Grant, is

concerned with what he believes is a unknown fact of whether or not the long ago King of England

was guilty. Throughout his search for the answer Grant discovers many history books which all tend

to view Richard in different ways. It is from these different views of the same man, that one can draw

the conclusion that bias plays a major role in the validity and credibility of documents and personal

accounts. So what is the role and in what ways does the truth come out through time?

As historians we must look at what it is that we are reading. In saying this it means we must

read between the lines. And not just see the words but where they came from and what the writer is

trying to say. As was demonstrated in The Daughter of Time, the documents which Grant read all

differed in the way they viewed Richard III. This could have been because the writer?s attitudes

towards Richard were all different. For example, in the novel, Sir Thomas More?s and later accounts of

Richard III were derived from John Morton, Richard?s bitterest en enemy. Sir Thomas?s account was

from the view of someone who hated Richard and is therefor considered biased. As a historian it is

important to realize that some facets of history are written with a biased opinion and it is our job to

realize which ones can be credited and which ones can?t.

Personal accounts and documents are often overlooked or considered unbelievable because

they cannot be considered valid due to the bias opinions of the writer. As historians many find this

discouraging because they have no account of what really happened and only have what can be read

from the writings of others. In the media bias plays a role in the validity of certain things. An example,

just one out of the many, where bias plays a role in the credibility of certain events is the Pocahontas

story. With out going into too much detail it is safe to say that the Disney version was very much

altered from the real version. Pocahontas was a nickname for ?the naughty one? the girls real name in

this legend was Matoaka. [visit to see what is being referred to]

If bias continues to effect how valid certain past documents are, the documents which help to base

our future, than what do we as historians have to go on?

When one takes The Daughter of Time and looks closely another name for daughter one may

come up with is truth. The truth is what eventually evolves after time. ?The truth comes out through

time,? is a statement which this book The Daughter of Time demonstrated very well. It showed how

Grant found evidence to support his belief that Richard the III was in fact innocent. It took many years

for someone to realize this but that is the role of time in this case. Grant used information from

books, which had been written over time, as a basis for his evidence to come to the conclusion that

Richard had no reason for killing the boys. Generally speaking the truth comes out through time in

everyday events as well. For instance when children go missing what happened to them eventually

reveals itself after a period of time. In murders and criminal cases the ?who done it? also takes time to


As historians ?bias? and ?truth? are two words which have very important meanings. For many

the bias which certain accounts are written by are considered very entertaining and allow the reader

more insight on what it may have been like, as was seen in The Daughter of Time. But at the same time

others find it difficult to distinguish between what you can and can not believe. Bias has a very

negative effect on the truth. For example in everyday life when a poor child says ?No, I did not steal it,

? and then another child, a rich child of higher status, says ?yes, he did,? the personal bias that you

feel can have an effect on who you want to believe. This in turn hinders the truth from being told.


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