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The Bayeux Tapestry – Carola Hicks

Cover of Bayeux Tapestry by Carola Hicks

Bayeux Tapestry by Carola Hicks

I have always been fascinated by the Bayeux Tapestry and one day I will get to see it in person. I find it fascinating, but also I want to know about the people who made it. What were there lives like?

Here is the blurb …

The vivid scenes on the Bayeux Tapestry depict the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It is one of Europe’s greatest treasures and its own story is full of drama and surprise.

Who commissioned the tapestry? Was it Bishop Odo, William’s ruthless half-brother? Or Harold’s dynamic sister Edith, juggling for a place in the new court? Hicks shows us this world and the miracle of the tapestry’s making: the stitches, dyes and strange details in the margins. For centuries it lay ignored in Bayeux cathedral until its ‘discovery’ in the eighteenth century. It became a symbol of power as well as art: townsfolk saved it during the French Revolution; Napoleon displayed it to promote his own conquest; the Nazis strove to make it their own; and its influence endures today.

This marvelous book, packed with thrilling stories, shows how we remake history in every age and how a great work of art has a life of its own.

It took me a while to read this book – not because it is difficult (It has a chatty accessible style), but there is a lot of information. It is split into 6 sections:

  • Embroidering History
  • Lost and Found
  • Revolutions and Romantics
  • The Gentle Touch
  • The Great Escape
  • Global Image

There is information on the possible patrons, lucky escapes (Napoleon and Himmler), various people who drew it and studied and some even made replicas!

If you are at all interested in textiles and social history, you will find this fascinating.

Another review




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