The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece

The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece

by Carola Hicks (Author)


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 marvellous 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.



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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Edition: New edition
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 01 Mar 2007

ISBN 10: 0099450194
ISBN 13: 9780099450191
Book Overview: The story of the Bayeux Tapestry - its origins and making, but also its long and dramatic afterlife, from 1066 to Napoleon, Nazi raids and modern adverts.

Media Reviews
Hick's enchantment with the tapestry is compelling, and her style confident and writerly -- Kate Colquhoun * Daily Telegraph *
Hicks tells her fascinating tale with the deftest of touches -- Helen Castor * Guardian *
I was bowled over... it is a book full of page-turning vignettes -- Simon Young * Sunday Telegraph *
A fittingly meticulous tribute to the world's fiddliest masterpiece -- Ned Denny * Daily Mail *
Well written, well documented, quite often serious but not too grave, allergic to over -imaginative fantasy but not immune to romantic pull of those colourful worsted threads on plain linen. Carola Hicks's book weaves its own spell -- Peter Mandler * Times Literary Supplement *
Author Bio
Carola Hicks was an acclaimed art historian, and witty, perceptive writer. Born in Sussex, Carola studied archaeology at Edinburgh University, and was an actress, journalist and House of Commons Researcher, before taking up an academic career. For several years she was curator of the Stained Glass Museum at Ely Cathedral, and then became a Fellow and Director of Studies in art history at Newnham College, Cambridge. Her books include Animals in Early Medieval Art, Improper Pursuits: The Scandalous Life of Lady Di Beauclerk, and two fine 'biographies' of works of art: The Girl in the Green Gown: The History and Mystery of the Arnolfini Portrait and The King's Glass: A Story of Tudor Power and Secret Art. Carola Hicks died in 2010.