A return to the Daughter of Time

After working on new projects for a while, I’ve recently returned briefly to Josephine Tey.

Since my biography of Tey was published, I’ve occasionally found new snippets of information. There’s never been anything that has changed any of the information in my book, but I’ve found out more about people or events that I had only mentioned briefly, deepening my knowledge of Tey and her times.

For example, I discovered that Beth / Tey was not the first person in the extended family to have her biography written; I found out what happened to her uncle John’s family after their return from Patagonia (see chapter 3 of my book); and I’ve seen some wonderful different editions of Tey’s books, which often have great cover art.

Recently I was contacted by Mick Webber, a mature student at university who was studying “The Daughter of Time”. He was interested in the ‘Tonypandy’ incident, and wanted to work out what Tey knew about the real history of the event. So many people say that “The Daughter of Time” has changed the way they look at history, and it was great to hear from someone who was examining sources and putting that into practice – I’m sure Tey would have approved!

I knew a little about the real Tonypandy, but I now know much more – and, like the history of Richard III, I would say it definitely bears looking into. Many thanks to Mick Webber for sharing his essay with me.

When I’ve given talks on Tey, I’ve often incorporated the new material I’ve learnt. At the moment, coronavirus restrictions mean that lectures and talks can’t take place, but I do have some arrangements in place for talks over Zoom – if this is something that societies or book groups might be interested in, there is a contact form on this website.

Finally, on the subject of Tey and “The Daughter of Time”, I was sad to hear that Dr Phil Stone of the Richard III Society died recently. “The Daughter of Time” is a novel that is of interest to many Richard III Society members, and I met Dr Stone when I gave a talk to the Richard III Society at the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall in York: that talk is a stand out memory; a really fantastic venue in a lovely city where I met many interesting people. You can read an obituary for Dr Phil Stone online here.


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