The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece

The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece

Paperback

By (author) Carola Hicks

USD$19.01

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 26mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099450194
  • ISBN 13: 9780099450191
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 112,648

Product description

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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Author information

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.

Review quote

"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