Reviews of 1066: The Hidden History of the Bayeux Tapestry
1066: The Hidden History of the Bayeux Tapestry
It bears the name of the Norman town where it has been treasured for centuries. Unique, mysterious and visually stunning, the Bayeux Tapestry is without doubt one of the world’s most significant artworks. Almost 950 years old, and nearly 70 metres long, it vividly recounts the rivalry for the throne of England between Earl Harold of Wessex and Duke William of Normandy – a rivalry which famously culminated with William’s epoch-changing victory at Hastings on 14 October 1066, and the death of Harold. My book traces how modern scholarship has substantially established that the Tapestry was made in England, contrary to much popular expectation, and that it was made, more specifically, at St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury, Kent. My book also shows how the point of view expressed by the Tapestry is an ingenious English version of the succession crisis of 1066 and how the Tapestry throws light on the Anglo-Saxon view of their own nation’s defeat. But most significantly, my book brings to the fore an elusive third actor in this great drama, Count Eustace II of Boulogne – the noble descendant of Charlemagne who, according to the Tapestry’s cryptic portrait, killed Harold.
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A new essay I am writing on the Bayeux Tapestry, Eustace of Boulogne and the death of Harold.