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The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry

Unravelling the Norman Conquest

David Musgrove, Michael Lewis


The definitive guide to the Bayeux Tapestry and its legacy, exploring the rich narrative behind its stitches and the turbulent times in which it was created

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Political intrigue and treachery, heroism and brutal violence, victory and defeat – all this is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, an epic account of a pivotal moment in English history.

However, there is much more to this remarkable historical and artistic treasure, which tells its tale with an intensity and immediacy that speak to our modern world, almost 1,000 years after its creation. Many mysteries and questions still surround this unique embroidery - and not all is as it might appear at first glance. Who made it, and when, why, where and what for? David Musgrove and Michael Lewis set the events depicted in the context of the machinations on either side of the English Channel in the years leading up to the Norman Conquest and tease out what the Tapestry tells us of the deeds of kings as well as aspects of everyday life in medieval Europe.

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'A superb book that emphasises the importance of the Tapestry as both a historical and artistic treasure'
Dan Snow

'Full of many fresh insights and unexpected discoveries, providing convincing explanations of many of the most notorious riddles left to us by the makers. A must for anyone interested in the history of Britain'
Michael Wood

'An excellent frame-by-frame account of the tapestry … beautifully illustrated and meticulously researched'
Times Literary Supplement

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 22

Publication date: 11 April 2024

ISBN: 9780500297650

Contents List

1. Putting the Conquest in Context
2. A Unique Embroidery
3. The Story Begins
4. Captive in France
5. At the Court of Duke William
6. The Brittany Campaign
7. A Sacred Oath
8. Harold Becomes King
9. William Builds an Army
10. The Lull Before the Storm
11. The Great Battle
12. The Bayeux Tapestry and Its Legacy

About the Author

David Musgrove is content director of the website and podcast, plus its sister print magazines BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed. He is also the author of the bestselling 100 Places That Made Britain. Michael Lewis is Head of Portable Antiquities & Treasure at the British Museum. An expert on the Bayeux Tapestry, he is the author of The Real World of the Bayeux Tapestry. He is a member of the Bayeux Tapestry scientific committee that is advising Bayeux Museum on the reinterpretation and redisplay of the embroidery.