Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015.
576 pp. 6.25 x 9 Hardback in New condition. Item #BOOKS010975I
Commanding its own museum and over 200 years of examination, observation and scholarship, the monumental embroidery, known popularly as the Bayeux Tapestry and documenting William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in October 1066, is perhaps the most important surviving artifact of the Middle Ages. This magnificent textile, both celebrated and panned, is both enigmatic artwork and confounding historical record. With over 1780 entries, Szabo and Kuefler offer the largest and most heavily annotated bibliography on the Tapestry ever written.
Notably, the Bayeux Tapestry has produced some of the most compelling questions of the medieval period: Who commissioned it and for what purpose? What was the intended venue for its display? Who was the designer and who executed the enormous task of its manufacture? How does it inform our understanding of eleventh-century life? And who was the mysterious Aelfgyva, depicted in the Tapestry’s main register? This book is an effort to capture and describe the scholarship that attempts to answer these questions. But the bibliography also reflects the popularity of the Tapestry in literature covering a surprisingly broad array of subjects. The inclusion of this material will assist future scholars who may study references to the work in contemporary non-fiction and popular works as well as use of the Bayeux Tapestry as a primary and secondary source in the classroom.
The monographs, articles and other works cited in this bibliography reflect dozens of research areas. Major themes are: the Tapestry as a source of information for eleventh-century material culture, its role in telling the story of the Battle of Hastings and events leading up to the invasion, patronage of the Tapestry, biographical detail on known historical figures in the Tapestry, arms and armor, medieval warfare strategy and techniques, opus anglicanum (the Anglo-Saxon needlework tradition), preservation and display of the artifact, the Tapestry’s place in medieval art, the embroidery’s depiction of medieval and Romanesque architecture, and the life of the Bayeux Tapestry itself.