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Old Yesterday, 11:59 AM   #106
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We seem to be wandering away from talking about Tey's book, and I'm certainly partly responsible for that!

Do we want to drag ourselves back to the actual book, or are we having too much fun leading ourselves astray?
Too much fun! I think the controversy of the historical mystery is relevant to the book too. One of my favorite things about reading is the side adventures that it takes you on which enrich the experience and enhance your learning and perspectives in unexpected ways.

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I assumed we would end up having the two essentially separate conversations. For me at least, the conversation about the historical mystery is the more interesting one.

It seems to me that Tey wrote with an agenda. While it is hazardous to do so, I am inclined ascribe Grant's opinions of historians to the author. It's the sort of opinion that outsiders of any speciality subject tend to carry; people are inclined to forget there are good reasons why subjects specialise. Historians may well be best advised to look to primary sources, but outsiders rely on specialists to provide useful, predigested, secondary sources so we don't have to spend the years that it takes to make qualified assessments of primary sources.
Perhaps she had an attraction to the subject of people she believed history had not represented fairly. Wikipedia says:
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Her only non-fiction book, Claverhouse, was written as a vindication of someone she perceived to be a libeled hero: "It is strange that a man whose life was so simple in pattern and so forthright in spirit should have become a peg for every legend, bloody or brave, that belonged to his time."
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Old Yesterday, 12:02 PM   #107
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This is an interesting article about the potential use of DNA to evaluate the bones.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...-a8441936.html
Thanks for the interesting article, Bookworm_Girl. Obtaining the DNA match bodes well for solving the mystery at a later date, when thereís less sensitivity about the implications.
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Old Yesterday, 12:16 PM   #108
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Me too, and now I wonder if Iíve taken Tey all wrong? Making up your sources is a hanging offence in most contexts. But itís perfectly legit in fiction. Maybe she just thought it would be fun topic for an novel, and was pretty casual about the research. She could be looking down highly amused to see people treat the novel like an academic paper.
Ah, the joke's on us, perhaps. It is one reason why I'm not a big fan of fictionalised stuff like this - and like the Philippa Gregory book I'm reading now - unless you're an expert in the field you don't know where the author parted ways with reality.

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[...] Perhaps she had an attraction to the subject of people she believed history had not represented fairly. Wikipedia says:
That's an interesting thought. And whatever we might make of the story now, it certainly proved an effective way of getting her point across when she published it. That is one of the advantages that fiction has over non-fiction: when it works it can reach a lot more people.
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Old Yesterday, 12:39 PM   #109
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Me too, and now I wonder if Iíve taken Tey all wrong? Making up your sources is a hanging offence in most contexts. But itís perfectly legit in fiction. Maybe she just thought it would be fun topic for an novel, and was pretty casual about the research. She could be looking down highly amused to see people treat the novel like an academic paper.
I don't think it's legit in the way Tey did it. I've read mysteries where someone is researching a past event or person and, eureka! finds hitherto unknown evidence that upends the common wisdom. I think that's fine; the author is clearly inventing the new evidence and only a foolish reader would think it's real. Tey, though, jumbled her invented sources and real ones such that a reader doesn't know which is which without further research. It's easy enough for us these days to use Google or check Wikipedia, but in 1951, how many people were hoodwinked?

I'm too lazy to try to find what historians at the time of publication had to say about Tey's book, but if I were a historian, I think I'd've been outraged.
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Old Yesterday, 06:27 PM   #110
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Me too, and now I wonder if Iíve taken Tey all wrong? Making up your sources is a hanging offence in most contexts. But itís perfectly legit in fiction. Maybe she just thought it would be fun topic for an novel, and was pretty casual about the research. She could be looking down highly amused to see people treat the novel like an academic paper.
Tey was writing entertaining fiction, and the novel she invented is part of the entertainment. Another was a reference to Grant knowing a lot about Richard II because he had seen Gordon Daviotís play, Richard of Bordeaux four times. This is both a comment on Grant thinking he knows a lot about a character because he has seen a play, and also an ďinĒ joke for those who happen to know that Daviot was another of her pen names (as was Tey).

The play however was real and a huge success. It made John Gielgudís name as an actor.

And if Grant is to be criticised for reading a novel and thinking it informative, what does that say about us, reading Tey, Gregory et al?
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Old Yesterday, 06:30 PM   #111
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This is an interesting article about the potential use of DNA to evaluate the bones.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...-a8441936.html
Thanks for this interesting item, Bookworm-Girl. Unfortunately I wasnít able to read the article - it wanted me to be a subscriber.
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Old Yesterday, 06:30 PM   #112
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This is an interesting article about the potential use of DNA to evaluate the bones.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...-a8441936.html
Thanks Bookworm_Girl , I hope they can finally find out if the bones are the Princes now. I guess we have to wait until someone either the present Queen or future Kings in line for the throne. Charles, William, George. Will give the go ahead for the DNA tests to be done. It's been a mystery for centuries and the Kingdom and world want to know. Exciting stuff !
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Old Yesterday, 06:48 PM   #113
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I don't think it's legit in the way Tey did it. I've read mysteries where someone is researching a past event or person and, eureka! finds hitherto unknown evidence that upends the common wisdom. I think that's fine; the author is clearly inventing the new evidence and only a foolish reader would think it's real. Tey, though, jumbled her invented sources and real ones such that a reader doesn't know which is which without further research. It's easy enough for us these days to use Google or check Wikipedia, but in 1951, how many people were hoodwinked?

I'm too lazy to try to find what historians at the time of publication had to say about Tey's book, but if I were a historian, I think I'd've been outraged.
I feel a bit silly writing pages of notes, factchecking & refuting fictional sources I guess thatís what I get for taking myself too seriously!

But you raise a very interesting point. What did historians think at the time of the publication? Iíve been trying to find some comment on that, but havenít found anything far.

However, in looking, I came across a short article that I thought was interesting. The author offers a very factual defence against the notion that Henry IV killed the princes. I found it quite persuasive. The comments are interesting too - some of the people who commented favourably on article are published authors from reputable sources.

I donít want to flog a dead horse, but in case anyone is interested the link is https://nathenamin.com/2012/09/13/th...for-henry-vii/
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Old Yesterday, 07:08 PM   #114
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Tey was writing entertaining fiction, and the novel she invented is part of the entertainment. Another was a reference to Grant knowing a lot about Richard II because he had seen Gordon Daviotís play, Richard of Bordeaux four times. This is both a comment on Grant thinking he knows a lot about a character because he has seen a play, and also an ďinĒ joke for those who happen to know that Daviot was another of her pen names (as was Tey).

The play however was real and a huge success. It made John Gielgudís name as an actor.

And if Grant is to be criticised for reading a novel and thinking it informative, what does that say about us, reading Tey, Gregory et al?
Thatís fun! Arenít you sharp Bookpossum, catching all of her hints and double meanings Tey was writing entertaining fiction; a glance at this thread confirms how engaging it is.
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Old Yesterday, 07:13 PM   #115
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Tey is full of contradictions in this book. I like Issybird & Catlady and others didn't like the way Tey said the Boston Massacre was no big deal, it was a big deal. Also the way she made up sources for Grant to quote from taking readers for granted ( pun intended ) Or calling criminals silly. I was irked but figured she was biased and went on from there. She then uses an American working on becoming an historian and he gives correct information back to Grant. She may have been amused while writing this. She did do some things right. The title is perfect and back in 1951 she had no idea how it would go. A society that found Richard III bones. How DNA would probably solve the greatest mystery in Britain. She just introduced doubt while writing a fictional book. The rest just happened.

Edit : Punctuation

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Old Yesterday, 07:19 PM   #116
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Thatís fun! Arenít you sharp Bookpossum, catching all of her hints and double meanings Tey was writing entertaining fiction; a glance at this thread confirms how engaging it is.
That's true very clever Book Possum !
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Old Yesterday, 08:05 PM   #117
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Thanks for this interesting item, Bookworm-Girl. Unfortunately I wasnít able to read the article - it wanted me to be a subscriber.
Weird. Iím not a subscriber to the Independent. it was interesting because it talks about what they could do with DNA testing of Richardís bones and the Princeís bones if they were granted access and what combinations of theories they could support or refute now that they have DNA from a known ancestor.
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Old Yesterday, 09:15 PM   #118
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Weird. Iím not a subscriber to the Independent. it was interesting because it talks about what they could do with DNA testing of Richardís bones and the Princeís bones if they were granted access and what combinations of theories they could support or refute now that they have DNA from a known ancestor.
I just had another go, and this time it worked, so obviously my computer was just having a hissy fit! Thanks again - intriguing stuff, isn't it.
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