The Bayeux Tapestry: Embroidering History with Alexander Wilson

The Bayeux Tapestry: Embroidering History with Alexander Wilson


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Many of us have heard of the famous Bayeux Tapestry and 1066, but what is the real story behind the unique masterpiece and the momentous events of that year? This conversation looks to unravel both the history and the mystery behind this brilliant weave, with a local expert based in Normandy.

On the UNESCO ‘Memory of the World’ register since 2007, the almost 1000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry is actually an embroidery. Around 70 meters long and 20 inches wide, it is a long storyboard which tells the story of William Duke of Normandy’s conquest of England, culminating spectacularly in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Commissioned by William’s half-brother, Bishop Odo, to be displayed in his spectacular new Cathedral in Bayeux, it tells the history from that of the victor’s standpoint: it is a work of propaganda designed to lend legitimacy to William the Conqueror’s seizure of the English throne.

Beyond the narrative, it is an extraordinary work of art and a source of inspiration even today. At the same time, it gives amazing historical detail on the nitty-gritty of medieval life, from food through shipbuilding to warfare. This talk will explore these different aspects, looking to put the Bayeux Tapestry into its historical context and to delve into some of its mysteries. Including the fascinating story of its very survival through centuries of upheaval and war. Led by Alex Wilson, local guide and historian who lives nearby, this Context Conversation will also hopefully entice participants to include Bayeux and its unique masterpiece in their next visit to Normandy.

Photo credit: Wiki Commons

Alex Wilson, a History First from Oxford, has been living and working in France for 35 years. After running his own publishing company, he has been guiding in Normandy (and for Context) for the last ten years. While his interests extend from William the Conqueror through to the post-War reconstruction, his main focus is on WW2 and the Battle of Normandy.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 41 reviews
93%
(38)
7%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.M.
Engaging & Complex

Mr. Wilson delivered an enthusiastic, clearly organized, detailed lecture about the the Bayeux Tapestry. He placed the events before, during, and after the Battle of Hastings in full historical context. I am fascinated with that period in history, and the webinar answered some questions, and elsewhere clarified issues for me. I recommend Mr.Wilson if you want a complex historical picture masterfully presented in an accessible way. I enjoyed this webinar so much that I signed up for his lecture on William the Conqueror.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

P
P.R.
Baueux

Lots of interesting info and pictures. Great!

L
L.
Another fantastic presentation by Mr. Wilson

I have been there...I have read and heard about it before. This presentation made it come alive and was instructive. Mr. Wilson, you are a joy. It's as if your best friend who loved and knew all about the tapestry and the history around it did you a great favor and took you there.

D
D.J.
Bayeux Tapestry unraveled

I saw the Bayeux Tapestry years ago and never forgot the experience. I wish Mr. Wilson had been with me then so I could have understood more of what was in front of me. Many thanks for your clear explanations and historical context of this exceptional piece of art.

Customer Reviews

Based on 41 reviews
93%
(38)
7%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.M.
Engaging & Complex

Mr. Wilson delivered an enthusiastic, clearly organized, detailed lecture about the the Bayeux Tapestry. He placed the events before, during, and after the Battle of Hastings in full historical context. I am fascinated with that period in history, and the webinar answered some questions, and elsewhere clarified issues for me. I recommend Mr.Wilson if you want a complex historical picture masterfully presented in an accessible way. I enjoyed this webinar so much that I signed up for his lecture on William the Conqueror.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

P
P.R.
Baueux

Lots of interesting info and pictures. Great!

L
L.
Another fantastic presentation by Mr. Wilson

I have been there...I have read and heard about it before. This presentation made it come alive and was instructive. Mr. Wilson, you are a joy. It's as if your best friend who loved and knew all about the tapestry and the history around it did you a great favor and took you there.

D
D.J.
Bayeux Tapestry unraveled

I saw the Bayeux Tapestry years ago and never forgot the experience. I wish Mr. Wilson had been with me then so I could have understood more of what was in front of me. Many thanks for your clear explanations and historical context of this exceptional piece of art.