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Showing 1-10 of 20 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 31 reviews
on September 15, 2014
I just got back from seeing the real tapestry in Bayeux, Normandy, France. When entering the room where it is displayed, I was given earphones and an audio receiver. The audio guided me rather briskly past each panel with interesting, but brief, commentary. I was not allowed to dawdle. Considering the crowds, this method worked better than most of the other guided tours I took in France. The book has pictures of the complete tapestry, first in full color about 2/3 (my estimate) the size of the actual tapestry; then it goes goes through it again in smaller graytone with extensive narrative. I found the book a much better way to learn about the tapestry than viewing the read thing.
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on April 4, 2010
Having read Carola Hicks' The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece, I was intrigued enough---hungry enough--to explore the topic further. The Hicks book offered some small, tantalizing colored plates that captured my interest, so I searched on Amazon for a book that could show me the tapestry in larger, more robust detail and as much of it as is possible in a printed text. I wanted a portable, but sturdy item appropriate for genuine study for this enigmatic work of art. I was most interested in a product that could give me a detailed look at the "Isti mirant(ur) stellam / The men marvel at the star" portion of the Tapestry--where the star is thought to be Halley's Comet, an omen. This is one of my favorite aspects.

My search included the book by David M. Wilson featured on this page. I read the publisher's notes and the reviews, and then I decided to buy it. Talk about a great out-of box-experience---when the book arrived, I was actually surprised by its size, quality, and organization. The dust cover shows a ship with such compelling details that you can recognize the texture in the image; you literally want to reach out and feel the ship. This is just a fantastic teaser for what lies inside the covers of this treasure.

The photography of this work proves to be its most dynamic, endearing feature, and the viewer can truly experience the beauty and majesty of the Tapestry in a highly personal way that other sources don't seem to match....including the Internet. In fact, the only thing better than this book maybe viewing the real tapestry itself! LOL However, the book is a lot cheaper than a trip to France, and one doesn't have to wait in line to get to the next panel / scene! With the images in your own hands, you can gaze for as long as you like; you can observe each figure and the various signals that move the story's direction along... almost like a medieval PowerPoint presentation. You can see areas of repair, areas of damage, areas where panels are joined, areas that remind you that this Tapestry was a product of human hands and spirit. Page 196 of this book even gives a rare glimpse at the back of one scene in the tapestry; the photograph was taken during the 1982-83 cleaning and remounting.

The book explains its quality with its opening Note on Photography [quoted]: "The colour pictures of the Tapestry are reproduced with the special authorization of the Town of Bayeux. The scale of reproduction is approximately fifty-four percent of the original. The photographs were taken by natural light when the Tapestry was removed from its case. When on public display, it is viewed through glass which slightly changes the colour values." // An Amazon reviewer mentioned 58% for size, and another reviewer spoke of 55%, so I am thinking maybe there is a different earlier edition of this book? I cannot speak to that--but only to the product I have it hand. So, before selecting this product, you may wish to read other reviewers and learn of other possible choices if available.

The book's content is easy to follow and packaged in a way conducive for serious study of The Bayeux Tapestry:

Foreward by M. Jean Le Carpentier, Mayor of Bayeux

Preface, David M. Wilson / The British Museum, March 1985

Introduction: A Work of Art and An Historical Document

Map of South-East England and North-West France in 1066.

The Tapestry [a wonderful collection of vibrant colored images]

Other sections: I. Inscriptions; II. The Commentary; III. The Story Told in the Tapestry; IV. Style, Art and Form; V. Buildings, Dress and Objects; Notes; Index.

I am most satisfied with this book, and I am able to study my favored "comet scene" thoroughly in generous colored pages. An exciting feature appears on page 15: a Partial Family Tree of English and Norman Ruling Families; the names of those members who are represented in the Tapestry are typed in bold. Another feature I like in this book is the large, dark, clear font in the written passages, which is helpful to eyeglass wearers such as my self. It's easy to navigate to various sections --comparing / contrasting colored plates to commentary. Interestingly enough, it makes a fun companion to Hicks' book or to other scholarly books that delve deeper into the subject. I highly recommend this product for those who enjoy history, literature, and art as interests / hobbies, but also for those who teach British / European history, literature, and art. (The lessons for critical thinking and observation are nearly endless with the Tapestry!) This book would make a fine edition to any high school / college library or classroom. It makes a nice gift for the book lover in your family. It's a huge slice of quality for the price.

**Note: This faithful product offers the Tapestry's nature in its unedited / uncensored form, which means the "nude" portions / characters that shocked the Victorian audiences are intact in this photographic collection. Certain parts of the Tapestry may not be appropriate for the eyes of very young children.
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on July 28, 2013
I have been there and done that! Actually seen the Bayeux Tapestry, in Bayeux, France! The book is sold in the museum there, but it was too big to haul home in a suitcase. Besides being sold in the museum, which gives it credibility, it is written by a knowledgable museum person (I am a former museum director). I also teach cultural anthropology and I love to find visual materials where my students can evaluate cultural themes of the past. The tapestry witnesses daily life in dwellings, clothing, food, weapons, symbols, transportation, technology, making a living, and of course art, etc. which is a good historical period piece where they can examine culture as created by those who actually lived it. Besides that, 1066 changed the world, which is a great story in itself. The photographs are so spectacular, it is almost like seeing the real thing.

Professor Jolley
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on July 4, 2017
Wanted to buy the book when at the tapestry book store 2 years ago, but it was much too heavy. Then I had the brilliant thought to try Amazon. The like new copy is perfect and I am very very happy to carry memories of one of the most amazing treasures extant..and at a reasonable price, in dollars not euros.. thank you.
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on May 5, 2017
Excellent book. Best of its kind perfect gift for visitors to the tapestry and loved it. In fact this is a gift for which I would like a second copy for myself! Super seller service. Highest praises😃😃😃
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on October 28, 2013
The large color images in this book are SO clear that one can study the individual stitching. The breaks between the color plates are sometimes a bit awkward, but there is a following commentary with smaller black & white images that capture the essence of each scene in the story and the discussion of the Tapestry is very helpful.
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on October 30, 2016
Gorgeous full color pictures of the whole tapestry. Good introduction, but I wish there had been a description on each page for the actions represented in the stitching, especially the top and bottom borders.
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on August 24, 2016
More than met my expectations. This book is amazing.
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on October 31, 2015
My wife and I were in Bayeux for a few days about a week before I ordered this book. We saw the real tapestry and found this book to be an excellent presentation of what we saw. A wonderful experience and a wonderful book.
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on July 15, 2012
Large format, and absolutely gorgeous. The pictures are high resolution enough that you can see the individual stitches in each scene. Very well done and I am pleased to add this book to my library.
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