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The Bayeux Tapestry

New Interpretations

In the past two decades, scholarly

assessment of the Bayeux Tapestry
has moved beyond studies of its
sources and analogues, dating, origin
and purpose, and site of display. This
volume demonstrates the value of
more recent interpretive approaches
to this famous and iconic artefact, by
examining the textile's materiality,
visuality, reception and historiography,
and its constructions of gender, territory
and cultural memory. The essays it
contains frame discussions vital to the
future of Tapestry scholarship and
are complemented by a bibliography
covering three centuries of critical

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The Bayeux Tapestry
New Interpretations

Edited by
Martin K. Foys, Karen Eileen Overbey & Dan Terkla

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All rights reserved. Except as permitted under current

legislation no part of this work may be photocopied,
stored in a retrieval system, published, performed
in public, adapted, broadcast, transmitted, recorded
or reproduced in any form or by any means, without
theprior permission of the copyright owner

First published
The Boydell Press, Woodbridge

The Boydell Press is an imprint of Boydell & Brewer Ltd

PO Box , Woodbridge, Suffolk , UK
and of Boydell & Brewer Inc.
Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, , USA

The publisher has no responsibility for the continued

existence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party
internet websites referred to in this book, and does not
guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will
remain, accurate or appropriate.

A CIP record for this book is available

from the British Library

This publication is printed on acid-free paper

Designed and typeset in Adobe Jenson Pro by

David Roberts, Pershore, Worcestershire

Printed in Great Britain by


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vi List of Illustrations
viii List of Contributors
xi Acknowledgments
xii Introduction: Fifty Years of (Re)Producing the Bayeux

Problematizing Patronage: Odo of Bayeux and the Bayeux

Auctoritas, Consilium et Auxilium: Images of Authority in
the Bayeux Tapestry

Taking Place: Reliquaries and Territorial Authority in the
Bayeux Embroidery

On the Nature of Things in the Bayeux Tapestry and its

Making Sounds Visible in the Bayeux Tapestry

Anglo-Saxon Women, Norman Knights and a Third Sex
in the Bayeux Embroidery
Behind the Bayeux Tapestry
. -
Embroidery Errors in the Bayeux Tapestry and their
Relevance for Understanding its Design and Production

From Hasting to Hastings and Beyond: Inexorable
Inevitability on the Bayeux Tapestry

Pulling the Arrow Out: The Legend of Harolds Death and
the Bayeux Tapestry
The Bayeux Tapestry: A Selective Bibliography


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Colour plates (between pages and )
Source, Plates : Martin Foys, Bayeux Tapestry Digital Edition. Leicester, , with
reference to David M. Wilson, The Bayeux Tapestry. New York, .
. Opening, Edward and Harold: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Bosham church and house: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Mistaken sail: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plate
. Harold captured by Guy: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Guy enthroned: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. William, Guy and Harold: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Harold, William, and the lfgyva episode: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Harold rescues Normans: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plates
. Conans escape: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Norman attack on Dinan and Conans surrender: BTDE, panels ; Wilson,
. William arms Harold: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Harolds oath: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Floating figure: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plate
. Edward receives Harold: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plate
. Westminster Abbey and Edwards funeral: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plate
. Edwards deathbed: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plate
. Incomplete brooch: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plate
. Harold crowned, Halleys comet: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Shipbuilding ordered: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plates
. Norman kite shield: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plate
. Feast and council of war: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plate
. Hastings fort and house torching: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Hastings and William receives his horse: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plate
. Normans ride into battle: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plates
. Harold, William and addorsed horses: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Double headgear: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plate
. First shield wall: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Horse legs: BTDE, panel ; Wilson, plate
. Odo in battle: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Chaos of battle: BTDE, panels ; Wilson, plates
. Harolds death: BTDE panels ; Wilson, plates
. Arrow death in Benoits, Montfaucons, Lancelots and Stothards reproductions
. Closeup of Stothards (re)constructed arrow
. Arrow additions in Montfaucon, Stothard and the Bayeux Tapestry
. Harold before William, and the lfgyva episode, from an anonymous copy of the
Bayeux Tapestry, c. , Mount Holyoke College
Source: Reproduced by permission of The Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special

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Black and white figures
: Problematizing Patronage
. Saint Alexis bestowing his sword-belt and ring on his wife
Source: The Saint Albans Psalter, c. , Hildesheim, Dombibliothek, St. God. ,
fol. , property of the Basilica of St. Godehard, Hildesheim

: Making Sounds Visible

. Luigi Russolo, Impressions of Bombardment (Shrapnels and Grenades) ,
Source: line drawing by the author
. Akbar Attacking the Fortress at Chittorgarh , c.
Source: V&A Images/Victoria & Albert Museum, London .:
. Maccabees, the Winchester Bible, Winchester Cathedral Library , fol. v
Source: The Dean and Chapter, Winchester Cathedral
. Psalm I: British Library, Harley , fol.
Source: British Library Board. All rights reserved.
. Life of Saul, The Morgan Crusader Bible, Morgan Library , fol. v
Source: The Morgan Library & Museum, New York

: Anglo-Saxon Women, Norman Knights, and a Third Sex

. Cainan with his family and his funeral
Source: Old English Hexateuch, British Library, Cotton Claudius .iv, fol.
British Library Board. All rights reserved.
. Abbot as a poor administrator (False Religion)
Source: Hugo de Folieto, De Rota Verae et Falsae Religionis. Heiligenkreutz,
Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. , fol.

: Pulling the Arrow Out

. Framing Harolds death
Source: David M. Wilson, The Bayeux Tapestry (London, ), plate
. Walkers framing of Harolds death
Source: Ian W. Walker, Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King (Stroud, ), p.

The editors, contributors and publishers are grateful to all the institutions and persons
listed for permission to reproduce the materials in which they hold copyright. Every
effort has been made to trace the copyright holders; apologies are offered for any
omission, and the publishers will be pleased to add any necessary acknowledgement
in subsequent editions.

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Introduction: Fifty Years of (Re)Producing

the Bayeux Tapestry
T has long been a visual and historical magnet,
pulling on both the popular and academic imagination for the better
part of three centuries. Recounting as it does the circumstances leading up
to the Norman Conquest the defeat of King Harold II and the English
at the hands (and horses) of Duke William of Normandy and his forces at
the Battle of Hastings in , a moment charged with historical change of
staggering proportions for England the bare bones of its narrative would
be enough to certify its worth. But the Bayeux Tapestry holds so much
more than its story . It stands as a unique material expression of the medi-
eval past, over feet long and only inches high, commissioned and
produced within only a few years of the events it presents. Worked in the
commonest of stuff linen and wool and lost for centuries, its survival
through the Middle Ages and subsequent periods is nearly unfathomable,
and to some, nothing short of a miracle.
As a medieval artefact, the Bayeux Tapestry is sui generis, a real outlier: it
is art; it is chronicle; it is propaganda; it is multimedia; it is narrative experi-
ment; it is monumental spectacle; it is a storehouse of eleventh-century
medieval objects, crafts and customs; it is a cultural icon (and modern com-
modity); and it is literally the fabric of history. Medieval writers studied it,
as did the antiquarians who laid the foundation for what was to become
modern scholarship. So too did Napoleon and Hitler, historical figures
seeking to match and surpass Williams territorial ambitions. It has had
cameos in a number of films, almost every year sees another clever visual
quotation of its form and format, and much scholarly ink has been spilled
on it, as quick perusal of Dan Terklas extensive, up-to-date bibliography of
Tapestry scholarship in this collection confirms.
Yet for all this attention, so much about this famous work still hov-
ers beyond our grasp. The general content is easy enough, of course: the
Tapestry is a definitively Anglo-Norman work, informed by both English
and Norman sources, and designed to celebrate and legitimize William the
Conquerors defeat of King Harold and subsequent accession to the English
throne. It depicts Earl Harold as an initially valorous figure, who travels to
Normandy, meets Duke William and joins him on a military campaign, and
then participates in rituals of vassalage the giving of arms and the swear-
ing of oaths. Upon Harolds return to England, King Edward dies, Harold
assumes the throne, and William, upon learning the news, prepares a mas-
sive invasion fleet. The rest, as they say, is history: William invades, lands,
sets up camp, harries the area around him, and then meets and defeats
Harold on the field of battle. The textiles end is now missing, but likely pro-
vided closure by showing the newly crowned William on the English throne,
an iconic bookend to the image of King Edward on his throne that begins
the work.
While we may think we understand the sum of the Tapestrys parts,
many resist confident resolution: the reasons for its creation; the date, locale,
and means and order of its manufacture; its original method of display;

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and the meaning of so many scenes; for example, the opening conversation
between Harold and William, the reason for Harolds trip to Normandy,
the identities of named figures such as lfgyva and Turold, Edwards
reception of Harold upon his return from Normandy, the deathbed gather-
ing around Edward, the events behind Harolds subsequent acceptance of
the throne, the possible presence of Eustace of Boulogne on the battlefield,
the death of Harold, the content of the borders, and the events represented
in the missing final scene(s). Like a halftone print or pointillist painting, the
big picture of the Tapestry breaks up the more closely we scrutinize it.
Such obstacles occasionally fatigue the field of study that seeks to over-
come them, but they can also inspire that field to reinvent itself. About ten
years ago, Martin Foys received an email from David Bernstein, author of
the stimulating study, The Mystery of the Bayeux Tapestry. Bernstein
was writing in response to an early prototype he had seen of the Bayeux
Tapestry Digital Edition, and said paraphrasing here, as the email is long
gone how exciting it was to see new work being done on the Tapestry. He
understood that every time it seemed the field had exhausted its subject,
new approaches would spring up to reinvigorate its study. Such resurgences
prove that the Tapestrys interpretative depth continues to exceed its con-
siderable length. And for the past fifty years, each decade of Tapestry study
has been marked by decisive publications that reworked the critical field
and in turn initiated a flurry of new industry. The reductive summary below
cannot, of course, include all significant work on the Bayeux Tapestry, but it
does provide a representative sampling.
The s saw Sir Francis Stentons edition The Bayeux Tapestry: A
Comprehensive Survey (), a watershed collection of essays by luminary
English medievalists that marked the beginning of the most fertile period
in Tapestry scholarship. The s were marked by Simon Bertrands La
Tapisserie de Bayeux (), one of the first works to focus on the mate-
rial qualities of the artefact, and C. R. Dodwells The Bayeux Tapestry
and the French Secular Epic (), which brought the discussion of
locale and purpose to the forefront of critical debate. In the s, Charles
Gibbs-Smiths The Bayeux Tapestry () and N. P. Brooks and H. E.
Walkers The Authority and Interpretation of the Bayeux Tapestry ()
drew the battle lines for a number of interpretations of the textiles origin,
sources, content, purpose and literary influence. The s were defined
by Bernsteins book and Bard McNultys The Narrative Art of the Bayeux
Tapestry Master (), both of which addressed the narrative function
of the Tapestry, especially in relation to analogous expressive forms. This
decade also saw Shirley Ann Browns formidable corralling of three centu-
ries of scholarship in The Bayeux Tapestry: History and Bibliography ().
Scholars in the s broke considerable and new interpretative ground,
while simultaneously taking a retrospective stance. Richard Brilliants The
Bayeux Tapestry, A Stripped Narrative for Their Eyes and Ears (), with
its emphasis on performativity and spatiality, embodied a growing shift
toward new theoretical approaches to the embroidery. Wolfgang Grapes
The Bayeux Tapestry (), while advancing some provocative arguments,
largely re-covered familiar territory, albeit with plenty of new visual ana-
logues. Likewise, the The Study of the Bayeux Tapestry, edited by

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x :

Richard Gameson, surveyed the critical ground that had been well travelled
by collecting one hundred and seventy years of significant scholarship.
In (with only a few notable exceptions), the scholarly state of the
art could be loosely described as having settled firmly into its own tradition,
with time-honoured approaches to date, patron, purpose, and artistic ana-
logues continuing to receive most of the academic attention. The prior forty
years of study made reasonable cases for the date of the Tapestrys compo-
sition as sometime before ; its likely locale of design and production
as Canterbury; the leading candidate for its patron as Odo, half-brother
of William; and its space of display as either a Norman nave or an Anglo-
Saxon hall (ora peripatetic space between these options, if the Tapestry was
designed to be portable). In any case, the critical debates, if not settled, cer-
tainly had begun to feel a bit played out.
But if, as David Bernstein felt, the study of the Tapestry had begun to run
its course, the past ten years has witnessed an explosion of new approaches
and interpretations, with a bevy of new methodologies and arguments that
run the critical gamut. In , Suzanne Lewiss Rhetoric and Power in the
Bayeux Tapestry applied a host of new hermeneutic approaches to the textile,
most notably in the areas of post-colonial aspects of territory and reception
theory. In that same year, the landmark Cerisy conference on the Bayeux
Tapestry was held, and its proceedings, published in French in , and in
English in as Embroidering the Facts of History: Proceedings of the Cerisy
Colloquium, made available new and vital information on, for example, the
history, reception, construction and restoration of the Tapestry. The Digital
Edition of the Bayeux Tapestry, which appeared in , was framed by a
series of events that continued the push for new modes of scholarship: the
conference at the University of Manchester on Harold Godwineson
and the Bayeux Tapestry, organized by Gale Owen-Crocker and David Hill
(proceedings of which were published in ); the NEH Summer
Seminar on the textile at Yale University conducted by Howard Bloch; and,
most recently, the conference, BT @ the BM, organized by Michael
Lewis of the British Museum, along with Gale Owen-Crocker and Dan
Terkla. This is to say nothing of the array of conference panels and papers
that continue these threads of investigation.
Indeed, subsequent work has made clear the value of applying current
theoretical modes of interpretation to this famous textile, and has inspired,
informed and, in several cases, constituted the work contained herein. We
have assembled here ten essays and a comprehensive bibliography from
both new and established scholars. We hope that this work takes the reader
down roads that lead to new thinking about the Bayeux Tapestry or
Bayeux Embroidery, as some of our contributors would have it, in an act
of resignification that emblematizes the collections frequent call for revi-
sionary accuracy. The book combines research first developed during a
NEH Summer Seminar on the Bayeux Tapestry at Yale University
with essays notable for their fresh theoretical perspectives and that encom-
pass a web of critical concerns: the historical and New Historical layering
of meaning; visuality, memory and architecture; representational systems
of gender difference; the revisionary power of crossing cultural and liter-
ary belief with material repair, synaesthesia and the graphic rhetoric of the

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auditory; rethinking notions of patronage and authority; post-colonial

ideas on the intersection of territory and saintly relics; and new material-
ist investigations that look at embroidered mistakes and the record of the
Tapestrys reverse side. These essays stand as a bookend to Gamesons The
Study of the Bayeux Tapestry; where that important collection looked back
over the history of Tapestry scholarship, this collection looks toward a new
horizon. Accordingly, we hope that this work gestures towards even more
exciting scholarship still to come.
It is as difficult to categorize neatly the writings that follow as it is to
summarize the ways in which they connect to each other; it is, however,
clear that four of the pieces have specifically visual and/or material con-
cerns. Michael Lewis and Gale Owen-Crocker both address the substance
of the Tapestry in the most literal of senses, with Lewis identifying seven
specific embroidery mistakes that have to date gone unnoticed, and Owen-
Crocker providing a compelling review of how the (largely unseen) reverse
of the Tapestry holds the key to a number of interpretative cruces. Richard
Brilliant challenges us to understand that the visual registers of the textile
simultaneously encode a wholly different sensory experience noise that
has so far gone unheard. Shirley Ann Brown surveys how carefully the
Tapestry assembles iconic images of power, so as to reinforce contempo-
rary and historical notions of aristocratic privilege and ducal power and
The remaining essays take approaches to the Tapestry not before seen
together. Karen Overbey investigates the construction of sacred space in
the work, and considers what roles relic and oath play in the ordination
of Williams new colonial authority. In a rigorously post-structural gender
analysis, Madeline Caviness regards the relative absence of women in the
Embroidery as an opportunity to expose the tensions of sexual difference
in current critical theory and in medieval expressions of military conquest.
Dan Terkla tackles cultural identities from a different angle, exploring
the construction of Norman self-conception, myth-making and the will
to power through historical uses of the Tapestry, and views the conquest
and colonisation inherent in its imagery, narrative and historical back-
ground through the twinned mythic appropriation of two later conquerors,
Napoleon and Hitler. In a more epistemological vein, Valery Allen blends
material culture with cultural materialism, demonstrating how the things
of the Bayeux Tapestry cups, horns, swords and so forth function in
heightened expressions of ritual to construct the potent political and legal
reality of Anglo-Norman rule. Elizabeth Pastan and Stephen White take
on the issue of patronage, contending that our definition of Odo as patron
derives more from Renaissance conceptions of this role than medieval prac-
tice. Likewise, Martin Foys also considers what history has done to the
Tapestry, and argues that the Tapestry has never shown King Harold dying
by an arrow. He reveals that, through the historiographic prolepsis of later
literary accounts, and even later reconstructions, reproductions and inter-
pretative revisions, the Tapestry now has sources for its content that post-
date it. Rounding off all of this new work is the no less (and perhaps more)
valuable product of Dan Terklas drudgery, an up-to-date bibliography of
some , entries.

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xii :

Finally, a note on references, figures and plates. All citations of the Bayeux
Tapestry in this collections are keyed to two readily available sources: as
plate numbers to David Wilsons colour facsimile, which recently has been
republished in affordable paperback format; and as scene numbers to the
Bayeux Tapestry Digital Edition (BTDE), available in CD-ROM format. In
addition, we include colour reproductions of scenes from the Tapestry to
which multiple essays refer. These are grouped together for ease of reference,
along with images from early pre-photographic reproductions of the textile.

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Valerie Allen is Associate Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal
Justice in New York. Her publications include a long survey of Old and Middle
English literature in English Literature in Context (Cambridge, ); On Farting:
Language and Laughter in the Middle Ages (Palgrave, ); and an edited col-
lection, New Casebooks: Chaucer (Macmillan, ). She has also published on a
variety of other topics and writers: medieval grammar, chivalry, medieval women
and shame, Seen, Chaucer, Emmanuel Levinas, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin

Richard Brilliant is Professor of Art History & Archaeology and the Anna S.
Garbedian Professor of Humanities at Columbia University (emeritus) in New
York. His publications include The Bayeux Tapestry, a Stripped Narrative for Their
Eyes and Ears , in The Study of the Bayeux Tapestry, ed. Richard Gameson (Boydell,
); My Laocon: Alternative Claims in the Interpretation of Artworks (University
of California Press, ); Commentaries on Roman Art: Selected Studies (Pindar
Press, ); Portraiture (Harvard University Press, ); and Visual Narratives:
Storytelling in Etruscan and Roman Art (Cornell University Press, ).

Shirley Ann Brown is Professor of Art History, York University, Toronto, a

medievalist whose teaching and research interests include medieval art and archi-
tecture of the British Isles, the history of stained glass, stained glass in Canada,
and art history methodology. She has taught at the University of Miami and at
Florida Atlantic University. She has lived and travelled extensively in Europe, read
English Medieval History with Denis Bethel at University College, Dublin, and
spent an additional year in research at the Institut fr Kunstgeschichte in Munich.
Prof. Brown is the founding Director of the Registry of Stained Glass Windows
in Canada. During Winter Term , Prof. Brown was Visiting Professor of
Medieval Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she directed a
course, The Bayeux Tapestry: Then and Now. Prof. Browns publications on the
Tapestry include: The Bayeux Tapestry: A History and Bibliography (); Cognate
Imagery: The Bear, Harold and the Bayeux Tapestry (); La Broderie de
Bayeux: analyse critique duvres publies / The Bayeux Tapestry:
A Critical Analysis of Publications (); Prolepsis in the Bayeux
Tapestry (); The Adelae Comitissae of Baudri of Bourgueil and the Bayeux
Tapestry (); The Bayeux Tapestry: Why Eustace, Odo and William? ();
The Bayeux Tapestry: History or Propaganda? (); The Bayeux Tapestry and
the Song of Roland ().

Madeline H. Caviness is Mary Richardson Professor Emerita of Art and Art

History at Tufts University, and in was elected a fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her work explores feminist theory and gender
construction in the context of medieval art objects. Caviness is the author of nine
books and more than fifty articles on medieval art, and is well known in particular
for her work on stained glass. Her publications include Art in the Medieval West
and Its Audience (Ashgate, ) and Visualizing Women in the Middle Ages: Sight,
Spectacle and Scopic Economy (University of Pennsylvania Press, ), which has
recently been translated into Japanese. Her current project concerns the represen-
tation of women and Jews in illustrated German law books.

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xiv :

Martin K. Foys is Associate Professor of English at Hood College in Maryland,

and a Visiting Professor at Drew University, specializing in Old and Middle
English literature and New Media theory. He has published extensively both on
the Bayeux Tapestry and on the intersection of new technologies and medieval
studies. His CD-ROM, Digital Edition of the Bayeux Tapestry (Boydell & Brewer/
SDE, ), was selected as a Outstanding Academic Title by Choice. His
current book, Virtually Anglo-Saxon: Old Media, New Media Early Medieval
Studies in the Late Age of Print (University Press of Florida, ) explores the
ways in which print and digital media affect the interpretation of medieval dis-
course, and won the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists prize for
Best Book, and was a finalist for the Modern Language Associations First
Book Prize. Foys is also directing the Digital Mappaemundi Project, an electronic
resource for the digital editing and study of medieval world maps and related geo-
graphical texts.

Michael John Lewis is Deputy Head of the Department of Portable Antiquities &
Treasure in the British Museum. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and
Advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group. His PhD was on the
archaeological authority of the Bayeux Tapestry, which was published as a British
Archaeological Report. He has published articles on the Bayeux Tapestry and
archaeological small finds and was the primary organizer for July s The BT @
the BM: New Research on the Bayeux Tapestry: An International Conference at
the British Museum.

Karen Eileen Overbey is Assistant Professor of Art History at Tufts University.

She has published several articles on visual and textual hagiography and is co-
editor of Eolas, the journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies. Her
current research examines the role of saints cults and cultic objects in reshaping
the social landscape in Norman conquests of Ireland, England, Wales, and Sicily.
Her recent publications include Ambivalence and Anxiety at the Nuns Church,
Clonmacnoise , Celtic Studies Association of North America Yearbook (Four Courts,
) and an article on the Irish Domanch Airgid reliquary in Tributes to Jonathan
J. G. Alexander: Making and Meaning in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
(Harvey Miller, ). Her Sacral Geographies: Relics, Reliquaries and the Land in
Medieval Ireland is in press with Brepols.

Gale Owen-Crocker is the co-founder and co-editor of the international journal

Medieval Clothing and Textiles and Director of a five-year AHRC-funded project,
The Lexis of Cloth and Clothing of Britain, c. : Origins, Identification,
Contexts, and Change. Her books include Dress in Anglo-Saxon England, Revised
and Enlarged Edition (Boydell, ); The Four Funerals in Beowulf and the
Structure of the Poem (Manchester University Press, ); Medieval Art: Recent
Perspectives (Manchester University Press, ); and she has edited King Harold
II and the Bayeux Tapestry (Boydell, ). She has published articles on Beowulf,
Old English poetry, Anglo-Saxon textiles, a series of papers on the Bayeux Tapestry,
and has written entries on clothing and tapestry for The Blackwell Encyclopaedia
of Anglo-Saxon England and on cloth-making for the forthcoming encyclopaedia,
Women and Gender. She is currently working on The Design of the Bayeux Tapestry,
and, as Co-Director of the Manchester Medieval Textiles Project, is preparing An
Annotated Bibliography of Medieval Textiles of the British Isles, c. . She is
editing Working with Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts, two essay collections on Anglo-
Saxon kingship, and is the adviser on dress words to the Toronto Old English

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Elizabeth Carson Pastan is Associate Professor of Art History at Emory

University and the recipient of the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching
Award in the Humanities. Her book, Les vitraux du chur de la cathdrale de Troyes
(Paris: CTHS, ), was the first work by an American scholar to have been
published by the French Corpus Vitrearum. Her scholarship includes numerous
articles on medieval stained glass and its reception and these have appeared in
such periodicals as Speculum, Gesta, Word & Image, and the Journal of the Society of
Architectural Historians. Her most recent publications include the historiography of
medieval stained glass in A Companion to Medieval Art, ed. Conrad Rudolph, and
an article on the Charlemagne window at Chartres Cathedral, in the anthology,
The Legend of Charlemagne in the Middle Ages: Power, Faith, and Crusade (Palgrave,
New Middle Ages series). Her new research interests on the Bayeux Tapestry
are represented by a forthcoming study on Montfaucon as Reader of the Bayeux
Tapestry , and numerous conference presentations, one of which, undertaken with
her colleague in medieval history Stephen D. White, lies behind their collabora-
tion here.

Dan Terkla is Professor of English and Humanities Coordinator at Illinois

Wesleyan University. He has published on various topics, from the English
Romantics to the interarts link between metaphor and mnemonics, from Old
French proto-drama to the intersection of Arthurian romance and popular film,
on medieval mappaemundi, and on the Bayeux Tapestry. He has organized inter-
national conference sessions on new directions in the history of cartography and
has been invited to present his work on medieval mappaemundi at home and
abroad. He is at work on The Hereford Mappa Mundi: Placement, Reception, and
Perception and has recently published on the map in Imago Mundi and Geotema,
and in the current AVISTA collection (in press). A NEH Summer Seminar
rekindled his interest in the Tapestry (especially new approaches to its study), set
him to co-organizing sessions on it at the International Medieval Congress
in Leeds, to co-organizing July s The BT @ the BM: New Research on the
Bayeux Tapestry: An International Conference at the British Museum, and to co-
editing this collection.

Steven D. White Stephen D. White is the Candler Professor of Medieval History

at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of
America. A specialist in the legal, political, and cultural history of eleventh- and
twelfth-century France and England. The author of Re-thinking Kinship and
Feudalism in Early Medieval Europe (), Feuding and Peacemaking in Eleventh-
Century France (), Custom, Kinship and Gifts to Saints: The Laudatio Parentum
in Western France, (), and numerous articles and reviews, he has held
fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned
Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Advanced
Study, Princeton, and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University.
Supported by grants from Emorys University Research Committee, Center for
Critical International Studies, and Program for Collaborative Research in the
Humanities, he is working with Elizabeth Carson Pastan of Emory University on
a collaborative study of the Bayeux Tapestry.

BAYEUX.indb 15 15/04/2009 10:41


T had its genesis in an NEH Summer Seminar, The Bayeux
Tapestry and the Making of the Anglo-Norman World , held at Yale
University () under the direction of R. Howard Bloch. That six-week
conversation led to multiple sessions on the Tapestry at Leeds Universitys
th International Medieval Congress () and to presentations and
further refinement at a conference on the Tapestry, The BT @ The BM ,
held at the British Museum (). We, the editors, would like to express
our gratitude to Howard Bloch for generating the chain of events that has
led to the publication of this volume and, as valuably for us, to provocative
scholarly conversations, renewed intellectual interests, and long-distance
All of the contributors have thanks to offer and do so in their essays. We
editors have additional debts to pay here: to our first reader from Boydell &
Brewer, whose comments were instructive and encouraging; to the British
Library, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the
Winchester Cathedral Library, the Mount Holyoke College Archives and
Special Collections, The Stiftsbibliothek, Heiligenkreutz and the Cathedral
of St Godehard, Hildesheim for images and permission to reproduce them;
and to Sylvette Lemagnen, Conservateur de la mdiathque municipale
Mdiathque Municipale at the Centre Guillaume le Conqurant, for her
assistance with Tapestry images. We also thank Drew University; Provost
and Dean of Faculty, Beth Cunningham at Illinois Wesleyan University;
and the School or Arts and Sciences and Department of Art and Art
History at Tufts University for the funding that enabled us to illustrate this
collection. Finally, and most importantly, we must thank Caroline Palmer,
Editorial Director non-pareil, without whose calmness, understanding, and
good humour this project would never have come to fruition.

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