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Decoding the Bayeux Tapestry (Hardback)

The Secrets of History's Most Famous Embroidery Hidden in Plain Sight

British History Medieval History Frontline Books Frontline: Medieval

By Arthur C Wright
Frontline Books
Pages: 175
ISBN: 9781526741103
Published: 7th May 2019

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The story of the Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings as shown in the Bayeux Tapestry is arguably the most widely-known in the entire panoply of English history, and over the last 200 years there have been hundreds of books portraying the Tapestry and seeking to analyse its meanings. Yet, there is one aspect of the embroidery that has been virtually ignored or dismissed as unimportant by historians – the details in the margins.

Yet the fables shown in the margins are not just part of a decorative ribbon, neither are they discontinuous, but in fact follow-on in sequence. When this is understood, it becomes clear that they must relate in some way to the action shown on the body of the Tapestry. After careful examination, it has become clear that the purpose of these images is to amplify, elaborate or explain the main story.

In this ground-breaking study, Arthur Wright reveals for the first time the significance of the images in the margins. This has meant that it is possible to see the ‘whole’ story as never before, enabling a more complete picture of the Bayeux Tapestry to be constructed. This, in turn, has led to the author re-examining many of the scenes in the main body of the work, showing that a number of the basic assumptions, so often taught as facts, have been based on nothing more than reasoned conjecture.

It might be thought that after so much has been written about the Bayeux Tapestry there was nothing more to be said, but Decoding the Bayeux Tapestry shows us just how much there is still to be learnt.

I believe that this text is essential for those who want to discover something about a work on which they believe they know everything. I had read some books on the subject and living in southern Italy I find around me continuous traces of those fantastic men who were the Normans. But with regard to the tapestry, the misunderstanding has often been to consider the natives as an inferior race compared to the Norman supermen who subjugated them. This was not the case and even in this book Wright explains why. The Bayeux Tapestry and the Domesday Book are works that owe much to the organization and thought of the Anglo-Saxon people. This book is a must for anyone who wants to look at things from another perspective.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

I love history books which are written in an engaging style and which open up new ideas about past events. That's exactly what I got in this new tome, Decoding The Bayeux Tapestry by Arthur C Wright... If only all history books could inspire me like this.

NetGalley, Stephanie Jane

The book is produced to a high standard and the quality of reproduction is good...I did learn many things from this book and the variety of topics covered in addition to the Tapestry itself provided some context.

NetGalley, Peter Burnett

A well researched, entertaining and interesting book that can be read as a novel.
It's full of interesting explanations and gives you a clear idea of the Tapestry.
Recommended!

NetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso

About Arthur C Wright

Education, of one sort or another, has long been part of ARTHUR C. WRIGHT’s life. He has written about, spoken on and demonstrated history for many years – to help bring objects, and through them people and places, to life he uses and builds models, replicas and reconstructions.

Perfect Partner

An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry The Landscapes, Buildings and Places (Hardback)

An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry provides a unique re-examination of this famous piece of work through the historical geography and archaeology of the tapestry. Trevor Rowley is the first author to have analysed the tapestry through the landscapes, buildings and structures shown, such as towns and castles, while comparing them to the landscapes, buildings, ruins and earthworks which can be seen today. By comparing illustrated extracts from the tapestry to historical and contemporary illustrations, maps and reconstructions Rowley is able to provide the reader with a unique visual…

By Trevor Rowley

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