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Download A Needle in the Right Hand of God: The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making and Meaning of the Bayeux Tapestry Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Needle in the Right Hand of God: The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making and Meaning of the Bayeux Tapestry, by R. Howard Bloch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (67 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: R. Howard Bloch Narrator: Stephen Hoy Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Bayeux Tapestry is the world’s most famous textile—an exquisite 230-foot-long embroidered panorama depicting the events surrounding the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is also one of history’s most mysterious and compelling works of art. This haunting stitched account of the battle that redrew the map of medieval Europe has inspired dreams of theft, waves of nationalism, visions of limitless power, and esthetic rapture. In his fascinating new book, Yale professor R. Howard Bloch reveals the history, the hidden meaning, the deep beauty, and the enduring allure of this astonishing piece of cloth.

Bloch opens with a gripping account of the event that inspired the Tapestry: the swift, bloody Battle of Hastings, in which the Norman bastard William defeated the Anglo-Saxon king, Harold, and laid claim to England under his new title, William the Conqueror. But to truly understand the connection between battle and embroidery, one must retrace the web of international intrigue and scandal that climaxed at Hastings. Bloch demonstrates how, with astonishing intimacy and immediacy, the artisans who fashioned this work of textile art brought to life a moment that changed the course of British culture and history.

Seamlessly integrating Norman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Byzantine elements, the Bayeux Tapestry ranks with Chartres and the Tower of London as a crowning achievement of medieval Europe. And yet, more than a work of art, the Tapestry served as the suture that bound up the wounds of 1066.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Narrator Stephen Hoye brings his remarkable multilingual skills to service…So well performed that it’s worth hearing more than once.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa Huston | 8/13/2013

    " I had no idea how big this is, and the book goes into so much depth I feel like I earned credit toward a doctorate in Medieval history, warfare, art and culture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michael | 9/17/2007

    " Read this just before I went to Bayeux last fall so I'm a bit prejudiced. I found this fascinating. "

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About the Author

R. Howard Bloch has written on a variety of topics in and around medieval literature and social history, legal, economic, familial, and political institutions, humor and the fabliaux, gender and the rise of Western romantic love and the history of the discipline of Medieval Studies. Bloch holds a medal from the Collège de France, is an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Philosophical Society.