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The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
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The Lady and the Unicorn (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Tracy Chevalier

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3,601881,463 (3.52)140
Member:amdrane2
Title:The Lady and the Unicorn
Authors:Tracy Chevalier
Info:Dutton Adult (2004), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 250 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:historical

Work details

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (2003)

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English (85)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
This is another interesting piece of fiction about how a work of art came to be created. not as well known as the Girl with the Peal Earring, the series of tapestries known as the Lady and the Unicorn are something I was aware of, but knew nothing in detail. In which case this worked for me as a suggestion as to how they came into being. Clearly fiction - the patron who commissioned them is not certain, let alone the names of the artist, cartoonist, weaver and related entourage. Set in Paris & Brussels, it is told in a series of first person narratives, spread over a few years. The content of the tapestries are mirrored by the tale the artist likes to tell to seduce women, of how the unicorn's horn can heal any hurt (it doesn't), while the tapestries have the lady seducing the unicorn. This is a fun listen. ( )
  Helenliz | Jul 16, 2014 |
When I started reading this book, I had high hopes. The other boos from this author I read so far were (in my humble opinion) little gems. For me this book was not as good as The Girl with the Pearl Earring or Remarkable Creatures.
I think it was more one sided, more centered around a man and his bad behaviour than on life in that period of time in Paris and Brussels. It involved more the emotions of the characters than anything else and that's why I'm disappointed.
I would have wanted to learn more about the society in those days, rules, ways of life, interaction between different layers of society, trading, explanation of the system of coins back then, but these things were touched upon slightl, only mentioned or not explained at all. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | May 28, 2014 |
A wonderful story about a set of tapestries, the artist who designed them, and the family of weavers who made them. ( )
  Ginerbia | Feb 14, 2014 |


Loved Pearl Earring, but this one fell so very short for me. It was so difficult to get through this, that I ended up skipping irrelevant parts. I hated this. ( )
  TheInvernessie | Nov 26, 2013 |
Incredibly clunky and just flat-out dull. If you've read Girl With a Pearl Earring you can pretty much track where this story's going to go. It's very predictable and the sexual subplots were laughable in places. Sorry, Ms Chevalier, but this was just not worth my time, even for the really lovely scenes describing the tapestries (and those tapestries are amazing. Seriously, google them). ( )
  Ceilidhann | Sep 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tracy Chevalierprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hasselberger, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirch, Eve L.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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:22 -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)

(summary from another edition)

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