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09 March 2020'The Bayeux Tapestry'
10 February 2020'Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov: The Trinity'
13 January 2020'Training Leonardo, Becoming Raphael. The training and formation of the artist'
09 December 2019'Grandfather Frost and the Old New Year: Russian Christmas'
11 November 2019'The Portraits of the Maharanis'
14 October 2019'The Art of Light - Stained Glass in the City of London'

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'The Bayeux Tapestry' Imogen Corrigan Monday 09 March 2020

There is far more to be discovered about the Bayeux Tapestry than could ever be covered in one lecture. 'Who made it, where and why' are the most frequently asked questions – although they might also be seen as less important beside the information the tapestry itself offers us. It is a narrative of not just the most famous battle in English history, but also of the build-up to it. It is a moral story showing that good cannot come to those who break their word. It is a story of kings, chivalry and ambition. Intriguingly, many crucial events are omitted and we can only speculate as to why. The tapestry itself is woven from only 10 different colours on linen, but remains as vibrant today as it must have been 900 years ago. The lecture looks at many of the scenes in detail and explores what might be learned from this depiction of a turning  point in our history.

Imogen’s most entertaining lecture covered all aspects of the Bayeux Tapestry – how, where and why it was made, its story and the symbolism that was included. The tapestry was made in wool, most probably by an army of embroiderers in England shortly after the Norman conquest. There are several indicators which point to an English origin, including specific designs of carts and shovels, and inclusion of letters only found in the English alphabet. The tapestry was lost for several hundred years, being found tightly rolled up in Bayeux cathedral, which probably helped to preserve the bright colours we see today. We learned that the pointing of fingers in certain scenes means that the characters were talking. And who knew that William allowed Harold to take the higher ground in the battle, because they had fought together (on the same side) in the past, and William knew Harold’s battle tactics? 

After nearly 20 years in the British army, Imogen went to the University of Kent to study Anglo-Saxon & Medieval History and Art, graduating with 1st class honours. She works as a freelance lecturer across Britain and Europe as well as lecturing on small cruise ships and running study tours on land.