Josephine Tey

Biografie şi Bibliografie

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

Life and work

Mackintosh was born in Inverness, the daughter of Colin Mackintosh and Josephine (née Horne). She attended Inverness Royal Academy and then Anstey Physical Training College in Erdington, a suburb of Birmingham. She taught physical training at various schools in England and Scotland, but in 1926 she had to return to Inverness to care for her invalid father. There she began her career as a writer.

Mackintosh's best-known books were written under the name of Josephine Tey. Josephine was her mother's first name and Tey the surname of an English grandmother. In five of the mystery novels she wrote under the name of Tey, the hero is Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant (he appears in a sixth, The Franchise Affair, as a minor character). The most famous of these is The Daughter of Time, in which Grant, laid up in hospital, has friends research reference books and contemporary documents so that 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 novel has influenced later mystery writers, most notably Barbara Mertz, who writes under the name "Elizabeth Peters". Mertz refers explicitly to Tey in "The Murders of Richard the Third," which sets a country-house murder mystery among a group who believe that Richard III was innocent.)

The Franchise Affair also has a historical context: although set in the 1940s, it is based on the 18th-century case of Elizabeth Canning. The Daughter of Time was the last of her books published during her lifetime. A further crime novel, The Singing Sands, was found in her papers and published posthumously.

About a dozen one-act plays and another dozen full-length plays were written under the name of Gordon Daviot. How she chose the name of Gordon is unknown, but Daviot was the name of a scenic locale near Inverness where she had spent many happy holidays with her family. Only four of her plays 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.

Proceeds from Tey's estate, including royalties from her books, were assigned to the National Trust.

The heroine of Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree (1961) uses Brat Farrar as a model when impersonating the missing heir to an estate. She describes the book as "the best of them all".

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

Tey appears as a main character in a series of novels by Nicola Upson called the "Josephine Tey Mysteries". An Expert in Murder (2008), the first in the series, is a detective story woven around the original production of Richard of Bordeaux.


Mystery novels

    The Man in the Queue (or Killer in the Crowd) (1929) [as Gordon Daviot]
    A Shilling for Candles (1936) [as Josephine Tey] (the basis of Hitchcock's 1937 movie Young and Innocent)
    Miss Pym Disposes (1946) [as Josephine Tey]
    The Franchise Affair (1948) (filmed in 1950 starring Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray)
    Brat Farrar (or Come and Kill Me) (1949)
    To Love and Be Wise (1950)
    The Daughter of Time (1951)
    The Singing Sands (1952)

Other novels

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


    Claverhouse (1937) [as Gordon Daviot] (a life of the 17th-century cavalry leader John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee)


    Richard of Bordeaux (1932)
    The Laughing Woman (1934)


    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
    The 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)

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