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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 Audiobook, 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 Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2007 ISBN: 9781400173716
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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. Every age has cherished the Tapestry for different reasons and read new meaning into its enigmatic words and images. French nationalists in the mid-nineteenth century, fired by the Tapestry's evocation of military glory, unearthed the lost French epic "The Song of Roland," which Norman troops sang as they marched to victory in 1066. As the Nazis tightened their grip on Europe, Hitler sent a team to France to study the Tapestry, decode its Nordic elements, and, at the end of the war, with Paris under siege, bring the precious cloth to Berlin. The richest horde of buried Anglo-Saxon treasure, the matchless beauty of Byzantine silk, Aesop's strange fable "The Swallow and the Linseed," the colony that Anglo-Saxon nobles founded in the Middle East following their defeat at Hastings-all are brilliantly woven into Bloch's riveting narrative. 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. A Needle in the Right Hand of God will stand with The Professor and the Madman and How the Irish Saved Civilization as a triumph of popular history. Download and start listening now!

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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.”

    AudioFile

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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 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.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End. His audiobook narration has won him fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards.