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Josephine Tey: Wikis


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Josephine Tey was one of many pseudonyms used by Elizabeth Mackintosh (25 July 1896–13 February 1952) a Scottish author best known for her mystery novels.


Life and work

She was born in Inverness, and attended a physical training college in Birmingham, before becoming a teacher. However, her literary career began only when she was forced to give up regular work in order to care for her invalid father.

In five of the mystery novels she wrote under the name of Josephine Tey, the hero is Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant (he also appears in a sixth, The Franchise Affair, but only as a minor character). The most famous of these is The Daughter of Time, in which Grant, laid up in the hospital, has friends research reference books and contemporary documents so he can puzzle out the mystery of whether King Richard III of England murdered his nephews, the Princes in the Tower. Grant comes to the firm conclusion that King Richard was totally innocent of the death of the Princes.

The Daughter of Time was the last of her books published during her lifetime. The Franchise Affair also has a historical context: although set in the 1940s, it is based on the 18th-century case of Elizabeth Canning.

A further crime novel, The Singing Sands, was found in her papers and published posthumously. After her death, proceeds from her estate, including royalties from her books, were assigned to the National Trust.

As Gordon Daviot she wrote about a dozen one-act plays and another dozen full-length plays, but only four of them were produced during her lifetime. Richard of Bordeaux was particularly successful, running for fourteen months and making a household name of its young leading man and director, John Gielgud.

Tey appears as a main character in An Expert In Murder (Faber 2008) by Nicola Upson, a detective story woven around the original production of Richard of Bordeaux. The second novel in the series, Angel with Two Faces, was published in 2009; further novels are planned.

Tey is mentioned in the 1982 Stephen King novella, Apt Pupil.

Mystery novels by Tey

Other novels

  • Kif: An Unvarnished History (1929) [as Gordon Daviot]
  • The Expensive Halo (1931)
  • The Privateer (1952)


  • Richard of Bourdeaux (1932) [1]


  • The Man In The Queue was broadcast in 1955, in an adaptation by H.B.Fortuin
  • A Shilling For Candles broadcast in 1954, 1963 and 1969 ad.Rex Rienits; in 1998 ad.John Fletcher
  • Miss Pym Disposes broadcast 1952 adapted by Jonquil Antony and 1987 adapted by Elizabeth Proud
  • The Franchise Affair broadcast 1952, 1970 and 2005
  • Franchise Affair TV: '58 (Robert Hall), serials '62 (Constance Cox) and '88 (James Andrew Hall)
  • Brat Farrar Broadcast '54,'59 and '80 (All adapted Cyril Wentzel)
  • Brat Farrar Televised 1986 adapted by James Andrew Hall
  • The Daughter of Time Broadcast 1952 (scriptwriter not credited) and '82 (Neville Teller)
  • The Singing Sands Broadcast 1956 (Bertram Parnaby) Televised 1969 (James MacTaggart)

Source: Radio Times Archive

External links

See also

  • Upson, Nicola (2008). An Expert in Murder. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0571237708.   -- a mystery novel with Josephine Tey as a main character.



  1. ^ a b c d e "About the Author." in Tey, Josephine. The Daughter of Time. Touchstone, 1995, pp. 207.


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