Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 249 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2.
to the walls, and the square tower surmounted by, or rather ending in, a low pinnacle, are therein frequently repeated.—­Secondly, that all the knights are in ring armour, many of their shields charged with a species of cross and five dots, and some with dragons, but none with any thing of the nature of armorial bearings, which, in a lower age, there would have been; and that all wear a triangular sort of conical helmet, with a nasal, when represented armed.—­And, Thirdly, that the Norman banner is, invariably, Argent, a Cross, Or, in a Bordure Azure; and that this is repeated over and over again, as it is in the war against Conan, as well as at Pevensey and at Hastings; but there is neither hint nor trace of the later invention of the Norman leopards.—­Mr. Gurney’s arguments are ingenious, but they are not, I fear, likely to be considered conclusive:  he however, has been particularly successful in another observation, that all writers, who had previously treated of the Bayeux tapestry, had called it a Monument of the Conquest of England; following, therein, M. Lancelot, and speaking of it as an unfinished work, whereas, it is in fact an apologetical history of the claims of William to the crown of England, and of the breach of faith and fall of Harold, in a perfect and finished action.—­With this explanation before us, aided by the short indication that is given of the subjects of the seventy-two compartments of the tapestry, a new light is thrown upon the story.

The third memoir is from the pen of Mr. Amyot, and concludes with an able metrical translation from Wace.  It is confined almost exclusively to the discussion of the single historical fact, how far Harold was really sent by the Confessor to offer the succession to William; but this point, however interesting, in itself, is unconnected with my present object:  it is sufficient for me to shew you the various sources from which you may derive information upon the subject.

Supposing the Bayeux tapestry to be really from the hands of the Queen, or the Empress, (and that it was so appears to me proved by internal evidence,) it is rather extraordinary that the earliest notice which is to be found of a piece of workmanship, so interesting from its author and its subjects, should be contained in an inventory of the precious effects deposited in the treasury of the church, dated 1476.  It is also remarkable that this inventory, in mentioning such an article, should call it simply a very long piece of cloth, embroidered with figures and writing, representing the conquest of England, without any reference to the royal artist or the donor.

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Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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