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Summary

Jean Le Viste, a 15th-century nobleman close to the King, hires an ambitious artist to design six tapestries celebrating his rising status at Court. A talented miniaturist, Nicolas des Innocents overcomes his surprise at being offered this commission when he catches sight of his patron's sumptuous daughter, Claude. His pursuit of her pulls him unwittingly into the web of fragile relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, lovers and servants.
©2012 Tracy Chevalier (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"The story she weaves is as lush as the tapestries she describes, and her colorful characters leap off the page. A romantic, beautiful book." ( Booklist)
"The genuine drama Chevalier orchestrates as the weavers race to complete the tapestries, and the deft way she herself weaves together each separate story strand, results in a work of genuine power and beauty." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Lady and the Unicorn

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

well researched - I'm a tapestry weaver myself!

What did you like most about The Lady and the Unicorn?

I have been meaning to read this book for quite some time - I am a tapestry weaver myself and at the moment I am part of a team of weavers weaving 'The hunt of the Unicorn' at Stirling Castle Scotland - We are weaving an interpretation of the medieval set of tapestries that are in New York.
We are weaving the last tapestry to be woven which is 'Mystic' and that portrays the lady and the unicorn - so it seemed the perfect time to read / listen to the book 'Lady and the Unicorn'! - even though this story is based around the red set 'The Lady and the Unicorn ' in Paris France.
I found it to be very well researched and the story certainly fitted nicely around the history of the tapestries

What did you like best about this story?

I particularly loved the descriptions of the tapestry studio - the looms and the way they wove - I took notes of several of the parts I found particularly interesting about the way they wove and using herbs such as Rosemary to keep moths at bay!

What does Cornelius Garrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I fwelt that the varying accents used very good and often bought amusement and great intonation to the story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes the describing how the blind girl did her sewing work

Any additional comments?

I would thoroughly reccommend this book to everyone and particularly anyone with an interest in tapestries! I would also reccommend that if you want to see a medieval tapestry being woven - hurry along to Stirling Castle in Scotland and come and watch us weave! We'll be finished in December 2014 !

8 people found this helpful

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Truly awful narration, couldn’t listen

The male narrator is truly awful at reading passages from the perspective of non-male characters. He sounds like a pantomime dame, or someone from a Carry On film. All oo-er missus-y when describing how a young woman reacts to the male lead. It was truly cringe worthy and I couldn’t finish the book. I may try reading it as the story itself was engaging, just couldn’t get past the narrator. Ugh.

5 people found this helpful

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Spoiled by narration

Tracy Chevalier gives a lot of interesting insight into the Unicorn tapestries and how they were designed and created. The story itself is rather thin . The artist Nicolas is a contemptible character . The characters are very one dimensional and serve to add a fictional element to the historical content .
The whole thing was spoiled by the narration. Some of the characters sounded like the old women in Monty Python sketches and Nicolas a revolting old roué. It really detracted from the story for me. It's a tribute to the author that I listened to the end .

3 people found this helpful

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Absorbing

In truth I was not expecting greatness from this novel but I was pleasantly surprised. I discovered that very quickly the storey entwined itself delicately; I had finished listening in two days.
The narration is excellent, the storey is told from each character's perspective and it's very easy to discern which character we are listening to, we are gently drawn in to the goings on around the making of the tapestry.
It is a 'light' listen set in France, I thoroughly recomend.

2 people found this helpful

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Elegant, sensitive and vivid

A story that weaves a delicate way through the life of the tapestry and the times. The rôle of women is starkly thrown into relief, whether things are any better nowadays is open to debate. A tale to savour and delight in.

The Narrator : His voice was too old for the young artist and his other accents came across as caricatures.

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Loved every minute

Beautifully written, excellently narrated.
I love how Tracey Chevalier's characters are so real and flawed, but you love each one of them, in a way.
If you love historical fiction and the middle ages especially, this book is for you

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No as good as the others

Not her best work
A little disappointing
The performance was excellent
It was okay
I may return it

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The passion of the women with enquiring minds.

Beautifully read. Such sprit and tenacity. Woman redefining the world from the secrets of Lyme‘s imprisoned creatures. I fell in love with wildness of this place out of season, in High House the holiday home Jane Austin. The grit that lies beneath the romance at the beginnings of the 19th Century.