Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time is a historical novel that looks at the belief that Richard III, King of England, murdered his two nephews in order to maintain his power. This novel also supports the belief that the "truth comes out through time." In the novel the main character, Grant, is concerned with what he believes is a unknown fact of whether or not the long ago King of England was guilty. Throughout his search for the answer Grant discovers many history books which all tend to view Richard in different ways. It is from these different views of the same man, that one can draw the conclusion that bias plays a major role in the validity and credibility of documents and personal accounts. So what is the role and in what ways does the truth come out through time? As historians we must look at what it is that we are reading. In saying this it means we must read between the lines. And not just see the words but where they came from and what the writer is trying to say. As was demonstrated in The Daughter of Time, the documents which Grant read all differed in the way they viewed Richard III. This could have been because the writer's attitudes towards Richard were all different. For example, in the novel, Sir Thomas More's and later accounts of Richard III were derived from John Morton, Richard's bitterest en enemy. Sir Thomas's account was from the view of someone who hated Richard and is therefor considered biased. As a historian it is important to realize that some facets of history are written with a biased opinion and it is our job to realize which ones can be credited and which ones can't.
Personal accounts and documents are often overlooked or considered unbelievable because they cannot be considered valid due to the bias opinions of the writer. As historians many find this discouraging because they have no account of what really happened and only have what can be read from the writings of others. In the media bias plays a role in the validity of...
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