Commissioned by the Bishop of Bayeux who fought at Hastings, executed by skilled English craftsmen, the Bayeux Tapestry is the last survivor of a vanished art form. With it lively illustrations of languid party-loving moustachioed Englishmen, the cavalcades of noble huntsmen and the snorting Norman cavalry poised to charge into battle, the Tapestry is the next best thing to a moving picture from the time.
Lecturer: Rupert Willoughby
A prize-winning historian, a Classicist, a lecturer on the national circuit, a poet, a father and a wild swimmer with a passion for castles, lakes and uncovering the layers of the past.
A graduate with First Class Honours in History from the University of London (where he immersed himself in the ‘Byzantine’, or medieval Greek Empire), he is the author of the best-selling Life in Medieval England for Pitkin, of guides to castles owned by English Heritage and Hampshire County Council, and of a series of popular histories of places, including Chawton: Jane Austen’s Village, Selborne: Gilbert White’s Village and Sherborne St John and the Vyne in the Time of Jane Austen. His most recent books are Reading and its Contribution to World Culture, an antidote to the vulgarity of modern Reading; and the companion volume – perhaps his greatest challenge to date – Basingstoke and its Contribution to World Culture.
He has published numerous articles, contributes regular obituaries to The Daily Telegraph, writes histories of houses, occasionally broadcasts to the nation and is an experienced lecturer (accredited to The Arts Society – formerly NADFAS), whose repertoire ranges from the life and personalities of the Middle Ages to the world of Jane Austen.
Rupert’s forefathers were Vikings and his foremothers were Tatars. He is based in London and on the Hampshire-Berkshire border, midway between Reading and Basingstoke.