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The Lady and the Unicorn: A Novel by Tracy…

The Lady and the Unicorn: A Novel (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Tracy Chevalier

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4,1391061,704 (3.52)158
Title:The Lady and the Unicorn: A Novel
Authors:Tracy Chevalier
Info:Plume (2004), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:historical fiction, fiction (France), mediaeval fiction

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The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (2003)

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English (103)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
Based on the description on the back of this book, I expected an elegantly written, cozy, sophisticated, intriguing, engrossing Medievalish fantasy. What I got was a badly written, tawdry romance filled with cheesy innuendos that entirely lacked depth. I don't mind a tawdry romance, but 1) it was completely at odds with how this book is touted so I wasn't prepared for it and 2) even the least sophisticated romance I've read has never come close to this level of groan-worthy, eye-rolling text. To this day I am still not sure what the author was trying to accomplish, aside from making me guffaw. ( )
  trillianiris | Aug 2, 2018 |
I generally enjoyed The Lady And The Unicorn, eventually!

I started off not liking any of the characters, but as you get to know them a bit more, some of them become more appealing. The story is quite interesting and I really like that Chevalier has woven (sorry!) a story around a real-life work of art. I also enjoyed the settings of Brussels and Paris, especially as I've been to Paris and am going to Brussels later in the year.

The novel is quite lightweight and I raced through it rather quickly. It's not for you if you prefer Wolf Hall levels of complexity and character development in your historical fiction! ( )
  mooingzelda | Jul 19, 2018 |
Re-read 2018 in preparation for seeing the tapestries in Sydney at an exhibition - excellent book that reimagines how they might have been conceived, designed and made - many characters with the morals of the time. ( )
  siri51 | Mar 4, 2018 |
3.5 stars. Didn't love the beginning, but it got quite gripping as it went along & the description of how the tapestry was made was interesting. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Draws you in, paints a picture (or, weaves a tapestry) of life in another time. ( )
  SMBrick | Feb 25, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tracy Chevalierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hasselberger, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirch, Eve L.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, Robin M.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my sister Kim
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The messenger said I was to come at once.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452285453, Paperback)

If you think you wouldn't raise your skirts for a rakish legend about the purifying powers of a unicorn's horn, then maybe you aren't a 15th-century serving girl under the sway of a velvet-tongued court painter of ill repute. In keeping with her bestselling Girl with a Pearl Earring, and its Edwardian-era follow-up, Falling Angels, Tracy Chevalier's tale of artistic creation and late-medieval amours, The Lady and the Unicorn is a subtle study in social power, and the conflicts between love and duty. Nicolas des Innocents has been commissioned by the Parisian nobleman Jean Le Viste to design a series of large tapestries for his great hall (in real life, the famous Lady and the Unicorn cycle, now in Paris's Musee National du Moyen-Age Thermes de Cluny). While Nicolas is measuring the walls, he meets a beautiful girl who turns out to be Jean Le Viste's daughter. Their passion is impossible for their world--so forbidden, given their class differences, that its only avenue of expression turns out to be those magnificent tapestries. The historical evidence on which this story is based is slight enough to allow the full play of Chevalier's imagination in this cleverly woven tale. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:13 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"A set of bewitching medieval tapestries hangs today in a protected chamber in Paris. They appear to portray a woman's seduction of a unicorn, but the story behind their making is unknown - until now." "Paris, 1490. A shrewd French nobleman commissions six lavish tapestries celebrating his rising status at Court. He hires the charismatic, arrogant, sublimely talented Nicolas des Innocents to design them. Nicolas creates havoc among the women in the house - mother and daughter, servant and lady-in-waiting - before taking his designs north to the Brussels workshop where the tapestries are to be woven." "There, master-weaver Georges de la Chapelle risks everything he has on finishing the tapestries - his finest, most intricate work - on time for his exacting French client. Ill-prepared for temptation and seduction, he and his family are consumed by the project and by their dealings with the full-blooded painter from Paris." "The results change all their lives - lives that have been captured in the tapestries, for those who know where to look."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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