1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry

1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry

by Andrew Bridgeford

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802719409
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 05/26/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 736,721
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Andrew Bridgeford is a lawyer and a historian. He lives on the Isle of Jersey in the United Kingdom.
Andrew Bridgeford is a lawyer and a historian. He lives on the Isle of Jersey in the United Kingdom.

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1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
EleanorAquitaine More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was quite informative, giving not only the history of the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror, but quite a lengthy history on the Bayeux Tapestry itself. I can not imagine anyone reading this book, and not coming away with more knowledge, and a better understanding of how the year 1066 reshaped England. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Bayeux Tapestry is a fascinating artifact from a number of perspectives, including as a historical record and a superb example of 11th century textiles and crafts. Bridgeford provides us with an excellent view of both. I only wish that the photographs were larger.
AnnieBM More than 1 year ago
A most interesting read. Besides getting a good look at this tapestry, the author provides good commentary on what the tapestry shows and how this has been understood concerning the Norman conquest in 1066. Bridgeford goes to some effort to trace the history of the tapestry itself and how it has been understood with arguments concerning who various figures presented are as well as the people who may have been behind the making of this tapestry. Bridgeford also provides quite a bit of good but perhaps little known history -- and a history from the underside, that of the English. Recommended.
k8_not_kate on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Andrew Bridgeford's "1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry" ran hot and cold for me, but for the most part was very interesting and offered an excellent analysis of the tapestry. The positives are that Bridgeford examines not only the story the Bayeux Tapestry tells (that is, the Norman invasion of England), but he also examines a bevy of hidden meanings and subtexts that may or may not be present in its famous pictures. He also gives a very captivating account of the tapestry's life since its creation, including a few close shaves while in the hands of Napoleon and, later, Hitler. The style is light and offers the right amount of analysis for a popular history. I also felt Bridgeford presented his opinion on some of the more mysterious aspects of the tapestry's creation and purpose in a balanced though still persuasive way.One minor negative is that Bridgeport has a habit of getting over dramatic at times. Nothing too distracting, but now and then I felt it detracted from the otherwise scholarly-yet-readable tone of the book. Also, the occasional chapter drags. I'm more forgiving of this in unflinchingly textbook-like histories but this book is clearly meant to be for the casual historian. I could have done with a bit less information on the four mystery characters of the tapestry (the dwarf Turold; Aelfgyva; and the knights Wadard and VItal). They weren't totally uninteresting, they just could have been explained more briefly.One very pleasant and surprising thing I got from "1066" was a spirited overview of the political situation in England following the death of Aethelred the Unready through to the ascension of Edward the Confessor. This is a sadly neglected period in the way of accessible histories. While I had already read a good dry, scholarly treatment of the era ("Unification and Conquest" by Pauline Stafford), I like to combine such books with a more general, lighter treatment: it helps me remember details and keep everything straight. Bridgeport provides us with that popular-history treatment in his chapter on Aelfgyva. I now have a much better handle on this pre-conquest stretch of time. I would even recommend reading just that chapter to help fill in the gap between Alfred the Great and the conquest even if you're not interested in the tapestry's whole story. Of course, if you are interested, I highly recommend reading the whole thing.
johnleague on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I am an unabashed Anglophile, and as such I have read more books about British history than I have about American history. I also know just enough about history to be a danger to myself and others, but I know my limits. Still, I think it is arguable that the Norman invasion of England in 1066 is one of those few events in world history that marks an inflection point, one at which everything that came after it was informed by it. The Bayeux Tapestry is an impressive historical and textilic artifact that forms the basis of much of what historians know or think they know about the Norman invasion.Andrew Bridgeford is one of those chaps who probably drove his teachers crazy in school asking questions like, "But how do we know that's what really happened?" Here, Bridgeford reconsiders everything that is accepted about the tapestry and presses each point with questions until they confess to their fallacies or clam up. Thankfully, his book is also the only I know of that examines how the tapestry survived for 900 years through the tumult of history.
nmaloney on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Though I believe this book could have been more accessible, it is definately worth a read if you are interested in history of this period. The fact that a textile, such as the Bayeux Tapestry not only survived the ages, but also still tells a tale is fascinating.
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