The lady and the unicorn

Title: The lady and the unicorn
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780007179886
Year: 2003
Pages: 290

1490, Nicolas des Innocents is hired by Jean le Viste, a nobleman close to the King, to design six battlefield tapestries. Jean’s wife convinces Nicolas to change the tapestries, so they tell the epic tale of the lady and the unicorn.
At the same time, Nicolas catches sight of Claude, Jean le Viste’s daughter. From then on, he is tangled in a web of relationships with young ladies.

In Brussels, George de la Chapelle takes on the task to weave the tapestries. It’s the most difficult work he has ever done and it consumes his whole family. For three years, he will have to work very hard and there is Nicolas who visits them regularly. How can he protect his daughter against him?

I had to read this book for school and normally I don’t like it, but this time it was a wonderful book!
The lady and the unicorn was a romantic story, but it had so much more!
I especially loved Aliénor de la chapelle, a blind girl, who couldn’t find a husband and the only proposal was of a monster (not literally of course). All the time I was thinking Parents! What are you doing to your child, you will let her marry a monster! but I knew this was (and still is) the truth for a lot of girls.

What I found a bit strange was seeing all those French names in an English book. I’m so used to read books in the language of the country where they are situated and now I was reading a book about France and Belgium (where I live, so I understand French) in English!

The story was told from different points of view and this made it really interesting. It made clear why people made certain decisions and most of the time I did agree, but when I read what other people thought about it, I changed my mind. This way I respected more what Aliénor’s parents thought about marriage.

The person I disliked the most was Nicolas de innocents. He was a flirt and fell in love with every girl he met. This caused a lot of broken hearts and unwanted babies. These people still exist and I think that this novel proofs that love stayed the same throughout the ages.

I loved reading this book so much because everything was linked with each other through tapestries. I have a little book with pictures of the tapestries and this made it easier to know what they looked like. The novel made me curious to see them in real, so maybe, if I’m in France I’ll visit the museum of the Middle Ages in Cluny.

rating: 4 stars

by Katrien

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3 gedachtes over “The lady and the unicorn

    • De cover is inderdaad en beetje ouderwets, maar het is ook wel een weergave van de sfeer. Het verhaal speelt zich namelijk af in de Middeleeuwen en toen was dat waarschijnlijk heel mooi.
      Ik hou wel van historische verhalen en zeker als er romantiek in zit en dat was hier zeker het geval. Als dit je leuk lijkt, er is ook een vertaling van hoor, het is namelijk een bestseller geweest!

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