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MUSSET, Lucien (2005). The Bayeux Tapestry, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press. ISBN: 987-1-84383-163-1 (original version, 2002, in French; this version was translated by Richard Rex). Hardcover, 271 pp., fully illustrated in colour, bibliography. Price: c. €22.

This book covers the early history of the Bayeux Tapestry (which is an embroidery, and not a woven tapestry) and comparative embroidered wall hangings, notably from Scandinavia. There is no information about who made the embroidery and how. The Bayeux Tapestry is presented scene by scene with a commentary that puts the images into context with a military, political, social and historical information. The aim is to explain what is happening and how the events relate to the story of the French (Norman) invasion and conquest of Anglo-Saxon England.

Recommendation: A readable introduction to the intriguing history and meaning of one of the most famous embroideries in Europe. The story is presented from the French perspective. This is not a book for people who are primarily interested in either the embroidery techniques used for decorating the Bayeux wall hanging or comparative examples.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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