The Bayeux Tapestry is a complex visual history of the Norman Conquest of England. Its creation and the story it weaves were defined by its dichotomous authorship, its physical form as textile art and its analogous narrative imagery.
An entry in the Inventory of the Bayeux cathedral treasury records that in 1476 the church owned the following: Item une tente tres longue et estroicte de telle a broderie d’ymages et escripteaulx, faisans representation du Conquest d’Angleterre, laquelle est tendu environ la nefde l’église le jour et par l’octave des reliques (l). Not until the 1720 ‘s did scholars first find and appreciate the potential importance of this brief entry.
Symbolism and Iconography of the Hawk in the Main Panel of the Bayeux Tapestry By Makra Péter Published Online (2001) Introduction: The main panel of the Bayeux Tapestry features a large predatory bird carried by human figures on several occasions. More precisely, this predatory bird can be found in plates , , ,  and […]
The Bayeux Tapestry: a stripped narative for their eyes and ears Brilliant, Richard Word and Image, Vol..7, (1991) Abstract The Bayeaux Tapestry, a masterpiece of medieval narrative art, tells the highly politicised story of the ascension to the English crown, held by Edward the Confessor. The historical narrative begins in 1064 while Edward was still […]
Odo of Bayeux At War: Linking The Bayeux Tapestry And “The Song Of Roland” Jameson, Carl (University of Delaware) Thesis: B.A., University of Delaware, Spring (2009) Abstract In 1066 England was conquered by Duke William of Normandy, and during the next ten years a magnificent work of art was created to glorify the conquest: the […]
The Mercian Connection, Harold Godwineson’s Ambitions, Diplomacy and Channel-crossing, 1056 -1066 VAN KEMPEN,AD F. J. (Tilburg, The Netherlands) History, Volume 94, Issue 313 (2009) Abstract It is supposed that the Vita Ædwardi contains some information about Harold’s dealings with William of Normandy in 1064. This article links these covert references with William of Poitiers’ statements […]
The strange death of King Harold II: Propaganda and the problem of legitimacy in the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings
The strange death of King Harold II: Propaganda and the problem of legitimacy in the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings By Chris Dennis The Historian (2009) Introduction: How did King Harold II die at the Battle of Hastings? The question is simple enough and the answer is apparently well known. Harold was killed by […]
There is a duality to the Bayeux Tapestry. The first half is seemingly sympathetic towards Harold Godwin (c.1022-1066), with the second part strikingly pro-Norman. There is a double narrative, one running through the frieze itself and another among the animals and creatures in the borders. We see clerics and knights, churches and palaces, with the sacred blending in with the secular.
The Bayeux Tapestry is thus often largely take at face value, and no serious attemtp seems to have been made to look beyond the work’s representation of the Norman point of view to the possibility that the Saxons who designed and stitched it might have employed covert devices in order to reveal occurences closer to the truth, which the Designer sought to articulare even the some of the facts were suppressed by the Norman conquerors.