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The Lady and the Unicorn Paperback – 14 Aug 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The Borough Press; New Ed edition (14 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007172311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007172313
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘Beautifully written, I could not put it down… a tale of ambition, lust, betrayal and heartbreak…a compelling and enormously enjoyable work' Evening Standard

‘On the academic front, here is the old Chevalier, exact and guarded, accurate and self-contained…On the erotic front, she positively explodes, the shy smiles of Pearl Earring replaced by a terrific torrent of carnal imagery, every sense invoked and appetite exploited’ Guardian

'Tracy Chevalier gives the kiss of life to the historical novel' Independent

‘With great insight, invention and a remarkable eye for detail, Chevalier breathes life into artists and artisans, their subjects and surroundings and, most important, their magnificent creations’ Washington Post

‘The story she weaves is as lush as the tapestries she describes, and her colorful characters leap off the page. A romantic, beautiful book’ Booklist

Synopsis

This is the wonderful novel from the much-loved author of "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "Falling Angels". "The Lady and the Unicorn" tapestries are a set of six medieval tapestries. Beautiful, intricate and expertly made, they are also mysterious in their origin and meaning. Tapestries give an appearance of order and continuity, as if designed and made by one person, belying the complicated process required to create them. Weavers, patrons, designers, artists, merchants and apprentices were involved in their making, and behind them were the wives, daughters and servants who exercised influences over their men. Like the many strands of wool and silk woven together into one cloth, so these people came together in a complex dance to create the whole picture. Jean le Viste, a newly wealthy member of the French court, commissions the tapestries to hang in his chateau. Nicolas, his chosen designer, meets le Viste's wife Genevieve and his daughter Claude, both of whom take a keen interest in the tapestries. From Paris, Nicolas moves to a weaver's workshop in Brussels in order to complete the commission.

The creation of the tapestries brings together people who would not otherwise meet - their lives become entangled, and so do their desires. As they fall in love, are shunned, take revenge, find unrequited love, turn to the church or to pagan ideals, the tapestries become to each an ideal vision of life - yet all discover that they are unable to make this ideal world their own.

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