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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Piece of History - The Bayeux Tapestry from Christmas in Bayeux

While I was reaching my story, "Christmas in Bayeux," I determined I wanted the story set in Bayeux, France because it was on the French coast and in close proximity to the American World War cemeteries. A little bit later, I discovered a hidden gem – the Bayeux Tapestry. In the story, Noel takes Aiden to the local museum to show him the tapestry. The visit allows Aiden a chance to deepen his connection to Noel.

What's the Bayeux Tapestry? It's actually an embroidery close to 230 feet long. (70 meters). Interestingly, its origins are clouded in controversy and there are several theories concerning its commission.

The Bayeux Tapestry tells a story. Edward the Confessor, King of England, sends Harold Godwinson to Normandy to tell William, the Norman Duke, that Edward has named him his successor. Harold is taken prisoner upon his arrival in Normandy by a local count who turns him over to William. Harold tells William of Edward's intentions and is allowed to leave.

Edward dies, but Harold betrays him and has himself crowned king of England. Furious, William assembles a Norman army and attacks. Haley's Comet flies overheard as William fights Harold. It's 1066. Hastings. And William wins.

Theory #1 –
William's wife, Matilda, commissioned and helped embroider the tapestry with her ladies in waiting. Could Matilda have done it? Yes. She was known for her embroidery skill and she would know the story, having 1st hand knowledge of it.

Theory #2 –
William's half-brother, Odo, a Bishop, had it commissioned. Points in his favor: The tapestry was found in the Bayeux Cathedral – a church Odo built. Being William's brother, he had 1st hand knowledge of the story, too, and had access to hire skilled seamstresses to make it.

Interestingly, the 1st reference to the tapestry is in 1476 when it was listed in a church inventory. The tapestry dated back to the 1070's. It was 400 years old when it was "discovered." Now, it's over 930 years old.


5 Stars, Karen Michelle Nutt, Author
"Christmas in Bayeux is a tender romance sure to warm your hearts for anytime of the year. I highly recommend it."

5 Stars, Diane Craver, Author
"Christmas in Bayeux" is the perfect short romance to enjoy during the holiday season or any time during the year, and I highly recommend it."

5 Stars, Markee Anderson, Author
"This was just a wonderful and heart warming read."

5 Stars, Celia Yeary, Author
"You will enjoy this beautiful story, rich in history and appreciation of the past, while living and falling in love in the present. I highly recommend "Christmas in Bayeux."

BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE


They entered the main room and he saw that the tapestry hung on the wall opposite of them. It filled the space entirely. Aiden stood stock-still, admiring its craftsmanship.

"We believe it commemorates the Norman conquest of England in 1066. We all call it a tapestry, but it's really an embroidery." She paused, then pointed. "Of course, the hero is William the Conqueror. His forces defeated those led by the English king, Harold Godwinson."

Aiden walked the length to the tapestry, marveling at the story and how the work had been well preserved for close to 1,000 years.

"Edward the Confessor had no heir so he sent Harold to tell William he would rule England once Edward died. Harold, however, usurped the throne."

Aiden pointed to a star with a tail. "Is that a star?"

She grinned. "Modern interpretation believes it to be Haley's comet. It was a bad omen for Harold."

"What happened next?"

Noel giggled. "William conquered him."

"Silly me. I should have known that." He grabbed her waist and pulled her against him. Their eyes locked, hers smoldering with desire. Damn. He wanted to kiss her. Right now. Screw his willpower. Aiden grabbed her hand and led her to the nearest hallway. Empty, thank God.

He pressed her against the wall, his hard body molding against her curves, and claimed her lips with a hungry, demanding kiss.
She didn't fight him or pull away. He squeezed her waist with his hands, and she fisted his shirt in her hands, keeping him close.

Her lips were warm and pliant, as demanding as his. He traced his tongue against the soft fullness of her lips and they parted for him. Aiden's tongue explored the recesses of her mouth and he groaned. He was getting hard for her. In a damn museum. That thought was like a bucket of water on his unchecked kiss and he pulled away, gasping for breath.


AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-in-Bayeux-ebook/dp/B005BTLSI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326918404&sr=8-1

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-in-bayeux-stephanie-burkhart/1104401603?ean=2940011371806&itm=1&usri=christmas+in+bayeux

SMASHWORDS: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72100






  1. I love tapestries. That is some tapestry in the photo@!

    Morgan Mandel

  2. I'd love to see the tapestry in person. Can you imagine how long it is! Amazing.


    1. I wanna see it! Love the story and the theories.

  3. Hi Steph, I've never been to Bayeux. Thanks for the reference. BTW I twitted and posted on Facebook.

  4. Yep, lots of history wherever you go in France. This is one of the mysteries of my native France. Thanks for the reminder and the pictures.