Last day in France,
Bayeux Tapestry this afternoon.
Fantastic craftsmanship, although I had to wonder, even with my basic O level needlework why it was called a tapestry when it looked embroidered to me.
Didn’t like to ask – after all, if the French want to call it a tapestry, who am I to argue?!
So I googled it when we got to the hotel room, to see what the experts say,
and here’s what it says:
The designs on the Bayeux Tapestry are embroidered rather than woven, so that it is not technically a tapestry. Nevertheless, it is always referred to as such.
Aha! Told ya!!!
Anyway, it was an amazingly long piece of work – 70 metres long, in fact. Very impressive.
I was very grateful for the English commentary walkie-talkie gismo we were handed on the way in.
Basically, the tapestry tells the story of how Edward sent Harold to France, to tell William to get ready to take over as King of England, because he, Edward was dying.
Long story short, Harold’s boat went off course, and he ran into a load of bother and aggro with the locals. Obviously didn’t appreciate the way he was treated by the Normans,
and fired up a right heaving resentment.
Finally got back to Blighty,
having had to swear to William on all that was sacred
(a scroll and a coffin)
that he would make sure Will got crowned King of England
|See him here, leaning on the scroll and the coffin? Not happy.|
But clearly, as soon as he was back home,
he had such a cob on, that he decided to become King himself,
and stuff Will.
Here we see him flying in the face of the Normans at his coronation.
And the rest as they say, is history.
William was over in Pevensey before you could say
and at the Battle of Hastings, on Saturday 14th October, 1066,
Harold had what can safely be called the worst day of his life.
But seriously. Did he really think William was just going to slap him on the back and wish him a happy life?!
I mean, the clue was in his nickname.
William the Bastard.
Not William the friendly cousin.
How Harold didn’t see it coming I don’t know.
But there we are.
William the Bastard became William the Conker, or Conqueror.
Power-pissed men causing carnage and destruction, then as now.
But the artwork, the tapestry itself a masterpiece.
I would bet my house on the fact that women created it.
What think you?
love and peace,