Political intrigue and treachery, heroism and brutal violence, victory and defeat – all this is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, an epic account of one of the pivotal episodes in English history embroidered on a strip of linen. Famously, it shows the stricken Anglo-Saxon king Harold dying on the battlefield of Hastings in 1066 amid a shower of arrows, as axes clash, spears fly and fallen warriors are trampled beneath charging hooves.
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, when, why, where and what for? David Musgrove and Michael Lewis skilfully lead us through the full story of the Tapestry and the history it relates, providing illuminating insight into a world of fascinating details that might otherwise be overlooked or their significance missed. They set the events 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.