Folger Book Club: The Daughter of Time
A convalescing detective decides to solve the mystery of the Princes in the Tower from his hospital bed, leading to unexpected discoveries about Richard III.
Booking and details
Dates Thursday, June 1, 2023
Tickets Free, Registration required
Duration 6:30pm - 8:00pm (ET)
About the Book Club
Join the Folger as we search the stacks for our favorite novels inspired by Shakespeare, the early modern era, and the holdings of the Folger Collection.
This informal Book Club is free and open to all. Our picks range from historical fiction to adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, encompassing a wide variety of genres—all sourced from a different local, independent bookstore partner each month.
Each session begins with a guest speaker exploring that month’s pick and highlighting items from the Folger collection related to the plot and themes of the novel.
After the presentation, participants will be broken into smaller groups for breakout discussions, moderated by a team of staff and volunteers.
Participation is free but registration is required. Sessions will be conducted through Zoom, so keep an eye on your inbox the day before for an access link, along with recommendations for quick bites and beverages to enjoy while we chat.
Our June Pick
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
“One of the best mysteries of all time” (The New York Times)—Josephine Tey recreates one of history’s most famous—and vicious—crimes in her classic bestselling novel, a must read for connoisseurs of fiction, now with a new introduction by Robert Barnard.
Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world’s most heinous villains—a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother’s children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England’s throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.
The Daughter of Time is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written, and suspenseful tale, a supreme achievement from one of mystery writing’s most gifted masters.
Why did we choose this?
The Folger Shakespeare Library’s collection explores not only Shakespeare’s life and works, but also the plays’ historical context, source material, critical and performance histories, and the ways in which they inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists.
The Daughter of Time explores the historical facts surrounding one of Shakespeare’s most enduring villains, King Richard III, and interrogates how stories are preserved, who gets to tell them, and what can be discovered when we reexamine history from a new perspective.
“They do me wrong”: Reputation, Richard III, and The Lost King
Shakespeare’s play Richard III turns real people into fictional villains, as does a new movie about the search for Richard III’s remains, writes Austin Tichenor.
The Daughter of Time refers to one character almost exclusively by what is today recognized as a derogatory slur. In recognition of this fact, we ask all participants refer to characters by their proper names during the breakout discussions.
Tey’s novel refers to Grant’s nurses almost exclusively the nicknames he creates for them based on their heights—”The Amazon” and “The Midget.”
The latter is recognized as a derogatory slur for people born with dwarfism. Little People of America, the world’s oldest and largest dwarfism support organization, has taken great care to advocate for abolishing the use of the word. In support of these efforts, we ask that participants make every effort to refer to characters by their proper names within our discussion.
For more on this topic, please visit Little People of America.
Katherine Schaap Williams
Katherine Schaap Williams
Dr. Katherine Schaap Williams is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto. She has published widely at the intersections of early modern drama, critical disability studies, and performance theory, and she edited Chapman, Jonson, and Marston’s 1605 play Eastward Ho for The Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama (2020). Her monograph, Unfixable Forms: Disability, Performance, and the Early Modern English Theater (Cornell University Press, 2021), received an honorable mention for the MRDS David Bevington Award and an honorable mention for ATHE’s Outstanding Book Award (2022).
For this session, we are excited to once again partner with Solid State Books. Ideally situated in the heart of the bustling and historic H Street Corridor, Solid State Books provides our neighborhood with a vital intellectual and social hub. To learn more, visit their website at solidstatebooksdc.com.
Orders may be placed by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the shop is open weekdays from 10am-9pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-9pm. You can also order through Bookshop.org.
This title can also be ordered as an audiobook from Libro.fm.
We would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of this program