In its true colours – Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry

This enthralling BBC Four documentary describes the story of the artwork that is actually a seventy metre embroidery on a woollen surface. It was mostly filmed at the Bayeux Museum, where the artwork is displayed in temperature and humidity controlled conditions. The presenters pointed out that the “Tapestry”, obviously dedicated to Odo Bishop of Bayeux,… Continue reading In its true colours – Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry

Rebellion in the Middle Ages

This is the latest of Matthew Lewis’ books and covers a longer period than any of the others, from Hereward the Wake’s emergence after Hastings to the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, almost as long a period as this book. Lewis is already an expert on “The Anarchy” (chapter 2) and the Roses… Continue reading Rebellion in the Middle Ages

The art that made us

This is another fascinating BBC2 series, illustrating English and British history through the evolution of our art. The eight one-hour episodes, narrated by David Threlfall (Men of the World), feature:The Roman and pre-Roman periods, Beowulf, the Norman conquest and the Bayeux Tapestry;     The Black Death, Wilton Diptych, Piers Plowman, Chaucer, Julian of Norwich,… Continue reading The art that made us

Bosworth – only ranked 9 out of 9….!

Bosworth, a victory for treachery – and for cowardice, because Henry Tudor didn’t raise a finger, but lurked at the back, behind a protective screen of bodyguards As far as Ricardians are concerned, the most important (and tragic) medieval battle was Bosworth, but 22nd August 1485 only makes it to number nine of nine! See… Continue reading Bosworth – only ranked 9 out of 9….!

1066 Remembered

Nearly 1,000 years have passed… In October 2016 I began a series of posts in memory of 1066, arguably the most important year in the history of England. Interestingly enough, while I enjoyed history, this era was not always my favored, as it once seemed so complicated and intimidating; my memories of studying it in school were… Continue reading 1066 Remembered

The Iron Man, Bishop Odo of Bayeux….

If Bishop Odo of Bayeux is anything by which to judge, bishops were certainly something else back in the Norman period, and later, of course. As a friend has commented: “….As late as the 14th Century there was Bishop Henry Despenser. He was knighted before he became a clergyman and was literally made Bishop of… Continue reading The Iron Man, Bishop Odo of Bayeux….

Some more articles …

… on the Bayeux Tapestry are featured in this excellent journal, Peregrinations by the International Society for the Study of Pilgrimage Art. The first relevant article, which also discusses Viking longboats and the Battle of Fulford, earlier in 1066, starts on (pdf) page 196. The second starting on page 238 compares the Tapestry with Trajan’s… Continue reading Some more articles …

Pooh to the rescue in 1066….?

Here’s a real giggle. Just imagine if, on that day in 1066, these little friends had turned up to interrupt the proceedings. The Battle of Hastings would definitely not gone in William the Bastard‘s favour, and we’d have kept our King Harold Godwinson. No brutal interference from across the Channel! But, alas, it didn’t happen.… Continue reading Pooh to the rescue in 1066….?

Richard III and Harold II

We all know that Richard is directly descended from William the Conqueror, who is his eleven times great grandfather. Here is Richard’s pedigree to William in three parts – follow the yellow dots left to right. (N.B. the first few generations have the yellow combined with red and blue which lead to other ancestors). But… Continue reading Richard III and Harold II

Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)

Channel Five’s reputation for history programmes has risen greatly over the past few years. At the heart of this, first in a Great Fire of London series with Suzannah Lipscomb and the ubiquitous Dan Jones, has been the “engineering historian” Rob Bell, who has toured bridges, ships, buildings and lost railways in his own amiable,… Continue reading Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)