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1066 : The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry by Andrew Bridgeford (2006, Paperback)

But is this true? In , a brilliant piece of historical detective work, Andrew Bridgeford reveals a very different story that reinterprets and recasts the most decisive year in English history.


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Reading the tapestry as if it were a written text, Bridgeford discovers a wealth of new information subversively and ingeniously encoded in the threads, which appears to undermine the Norman point of view while presenting a secret tale undetected for centuries-an account of the final years of Anglo-Saxon England quite different from the Norman version. Bridgeford brings alive the turbulent 11th century in western Europe, a world of ambitious warrior bishops, court dwarfs, ruthless knights, and powerful women.

He lives on the Isle of Jersey in the United Kingdom.


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  6. While building his case, Bridgeford brings to life the turbulent eleventh century in western Europe, a world of ambitious warrior bishops, court dwarfs, ruthless knights, and powerful women. An exciting account of the tapestry's busy drama and engaging realism. For more than years it has been kept--and sometimes concealed--in several places around the town. The story of the Norman invasion of England in is set out in this masterpiece, recounting the Battle of Hastings, culminating in a victory for William the Conqueror and the death of King Harold.

    Although barely half a metre wide, the tapestry is about 70 metres long, embroidered on a plain linen background in wools of red, yellow, gray, green, and blue.

    The Hidden History of the Bayeux Tapestry - Andrew Bridgeford - Google книги

    Here are men feasting on birds, drinking from ivory horns, hunting, going to church, and loading provisions onto a ship. Bridgeford posits 'the quest of his] book is to unravel the millennial mysteries of the work, to investigate the true origin and meaning of it, to understand more about the characters who are named in it, and to gain a new insight into some of the darkest events of the Norman Conquest. The Battle of Hastings, in , when the last Anglo-Saxon king, Harold, was defeated by William the Conqueror, is one of the world's most commented-upon battles, partly because its effects the fusion of French and Anglo-Saxon into English, for example ramify to this day--and partly because it was illustrated by the near-contemporary Bayeux Tapestry, a masterpiece of Medieval art.

    What is there new to add to the library of references? Bridgeford attempts to overturn at least two old verities about the battle.

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    According to the author, 'close observation of the Bayeux Tapestry reveals that it is not a work of Norman propaganda that popular myth would have us believe, but a covert, subtle, and substantial record of the English version of events. Scene by scene, the Bayeux tapestry deviates significantly in its sympathetic treatment of Harold from the simple-minded vilification to which he was subjected after his death at Hastings.

    Bridgeford goes to less used sources, such as Eadmar's "The History of Recent Events in England" circa , to understand the images. If he's right, then another supposed fact about the tapestry--that it was commissioned by William's half-brother Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux--seems unlikely. Bridgeford believes, instead, that the tapestry was commissioned by William's occasional ally Count Eustace of Boulogne as a peace offering to Odo, with whom Eustace was often in violent conflict.

    This is solid historical detective work, enlivened with extensive speculations about the tapestry's mysteries Bridgeford, for instance, has a fascinating theory about why a dwarf named Turold holds a special place in the story. On sound empirical ground, Bridgeford's work will no doubt generate much heat and some light among students of English history. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review.

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