Thursday, September 07, 2006

Born on the bayeux

We've just come from seeing the Bayeux tapestry. It was commissioned by William the Conqueror's half brother Bishop Odo to depict the events leading up to the Norman invasion (justifying it) and the battle of Hastings itself. I was a little worried that it would be disappointing after nearly a lifetime of wanting to see it. But it wasn't. It's in a darkened hall, and the free audio guides keep you moving along at a steady clip, so there's little bunching up and gawking, but just enough time to take in the rich detail. We've also seen the Battle site near Hastings, where the Bayeux tapestry was seen more as a propaganda rag - and Harold's ceding of England to William was seen less as a blood oath and more of an invalid contract made under duress.
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