Hot on the heels of William Dalrymple’s The Age of Kali, another good read – but of a completely different kind. The Lady and the Unicorn is a historical novel, set in 15th century Paris and Brussels, and tell the imagined story behind the amazing tapestries of the lady and the unicorn that are displayed in the beautiful Musée de Cluny / Musee du Moyenne Age [the Middle Ages] in Paris.
Tracy Chevalier provides insight into the detail included in the tapestries – the significance of the selection of the flora and fauna, and the poses and actions of the ladies and the unicorn – and into how the tapestries were made – from painting the intial images, to the dyes used to colour the wool, to the weaving and finishing. You learn about mediaeval business, society and economics, the power of the guilds and the role of women. The Lady and the Unicorn is a really informative read, lightly yet learnedly done.
Amazon.co.uk link: The Lady and the Unicorn – Tracy Chevalier