Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Daughter of Time and a Reflection on Our NHS

The Daughter of TimeThe Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have to disagree with all those who, over many decades, have held this book in such high regard.
I found it a strange hybrid. As a novel, the whole set-up just felt contrived. It failed as a mystery novel as there was absolutely no sense of jeopardy whatsoever. As an examination of the history surrounding the disappearance of the princes in the tower, it was interesting but I would have preferred the evidence presented in a more conventional way. Perhaps in the form of Brent Carradine's anticipated book?

What I did like about the book were the parts where Inspector Grant makes his astute observations about human nature.I think I may well enjoy another of the novels in which he carries out a more conventional investigation.

Yet,this was an interesting read for me in the week when the University of Leicester announced that the bones found in a carpark were very probably those of Richard III because the other significant news item of this week has been the findings of an inquiry into the failure of one specific NHS hospital (and by implication other hospitals too)to provide even the most basic care for patients. In The Daughter of Time we see Inspector Grant pictured as a patient in a hospital during the early days of the NHS. Here the consultant, the Matron, the nurses and the porter all have time not just to care for him but to pronounce, at great length, on the character of Richard III. Oh how times have changed. Today they find it difficult to bring a patient a glass of clean water. Now there is a history lesson for us all.

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