by Carola Hicks

Trafalgar Square Publishing, $16.95, 358 pages

Sometimes the history of the world really is woven. The Bayeux Tapestry explores the history and significance of the titular object, embroidered to celebrate one of the watershed events of the medieval world: The Norman Invasion of 1066. It was one of those events that ends up having a lot more significance than would seem at first. The Tapestry has been at the center of its own controversies, and those that wanted it. Although it was not exactly a hidden artifact, it is an item with a powerful history.

The Bayeux Tapestry is an excellent exploration of its significance, covering it from its inception to the present; the only mystery is who its patron is. Although charmingly presented, some of the examples are covered too well, and some of the fat needed to be trimmed just a little. Although there is some humor present throughout, it is sometimes a little dry. Otherwise, this is a fine example of what a historical account should be: Explore the history, see what the ramifications are, and explore its future a little. This is an excellent look into the French and English spirit, and one that will serve as an excellent reference.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim