Tag Archives: Musgrove David

The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry

The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry – David Musgrove and Michael Lewis

I am very keen to visit the Bayeux Tapestry. I planned to go in 2020, but we all know how that turned out. So i keep buying books about it. I first heard of this one on the History Extra podcast (worth listening to if you are at all interested in the tapestry – or even the Norman conquest).

Here’s the blurb …

Most people know that the Bayeux Tapestry depicts the moment when the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, Harold Godwinson, was defeated at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 by his Norman adversary William the Conqueror. However, there is much more to this historic treasure than merely illustrating the outcome of this famous battle. Full of intrigue and violence, the tapestry depicts everything from eleventh-century political and social life—including the political machinations on both sides of the English Channel in the years leading up to the Norman Conquest—to the clash of swords and stamp of hooves on the battle field.

Drawing on the latest historical and scientific research, authors David Musgrove and Michael Lewis have written the definitive book on the Bayeux Tapestry, taking readers through its narrative, detailing the life of the tapestry in the centuries that followed its creation, explaining how it got its name, and even offering a new possibility that neither Harold nor William were the true intended king of England. Featuring stunning, full- color photographs throughout, The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry explores the complete tale behind this medieval treasure that continues to amaze nearly one thousand years after its creation.

Firstly, this is a beautiful object with fabulous colour pictures of the tapestry – scene by scene and then altogether at the end (over several pages).

The opening two chapters are about the tapestry as a physical object – how did it survive, who commissioned it – and some information on the Normal Conquest.

The following 10 chapters are a detailed description (including images) of the scenes of the tapestry. I particularly enjoyed these chapters – the action in the main section is described as well as anything happening in the two borders. The authors have a lovely way of describing the action – they really bring the characters (actors?) to life.

The final chapter is about the tapestry’s legacy – will it ever get back to England?

I really enjoyed reading this (and it was easy to read) and I think anyone interested in textiles, early medieval history and even military history will find this a fascinating read.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 4, Non-Fiction, Recommended, Serious