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Lady And The Unicorn Hardcover – Dec 30 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (Dec 30 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525947671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525947677
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 15 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,106,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I discovered this author when I purchased a used copy of her first novel, The Girl With a Pearl Earring. I have now read almost all of her works to date. Tracy Chevalier is a superb writer. Many authors have a set style and formula, but every book Tracy writes is unique and beautifully crafted. This novel tells a fictional story behind a real set of 15th century tapestries. It is worth looking them up online to get a good look at the specific works that are the focus of this book. The research that has gone into this book is meticulous, which is always the case with her writing. The story itself draws you right in immediately, the characters are well crafted and rich. If you enjoy historical fiction with a real insight into how people lived and worked centuries ago, this novel is one you will love.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book because I was going to France and Belgium and found the history of making the tapestries extremely interesting. It helped me view the tapestries themselves in museums in Paris and the chateaux of the Loire Valley with more knowledge than I had previously. I found the writing style in this book to be somewhat more juvenile than in The Girl with the Pearl Earring which was exceptional. All in all The Lady and the Unicorn was a delightful read however.Historical novels are my favourite genre and Tracy Chevalier's characters come alive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sherri Johnson-Taft on July 2 2005
Format: Paperback
I read THE LADY AND THE UNICORN in one sitting, on a plane ride to Europe, and couldn't put it down. History has always fascinated me, and the story of Claude, nobleman's daughter. I found it amazing how Tracy Chevalier was able to take one tapestry and create an entire story about it. She builds upon what is already known to create a piece of fiction that seems almost real unto itself. I always marvel at Chevalier's works, as her language is descriptive to a fault, and doesn't assume an air of modernity which can be found in many historical novels written in the present time. I thought this was a well crafted book, the way McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD is, or perhaps the novel GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING. The writing is first-rate and right on the money. Do yourself a favor and buy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter.com on Jan. 17 2004
Format: Hardcover
A series of six tapestries depicting a lady seducing a unicorn now hang in the Musee National du Moyen Age in Paris. Although these tapestries --- created in the late fifteenth century --- are some of the most famous in the world, very little is known about their creation or their history. Tracy Chevalier, the novelist best known for writing the perennial book club favorite (and new feature film) GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, has used her rich imagination to weave together romance, humor and art history in THE LADY AND THE UNICORN.
Chevalier starts with one of the few facts that is actually known about the tapestries: they were created for the nobleman Jean Le Viste, whose family coat of arms features prominently in their design. In Chevalier's portrayal, Le Viste is a power-hungry nobleman with close ties to the king. He wants tapestries depicting the glories of war, but the artist, Nicolas des Innocents --- who specializes in portraits of noblewomen --- convinces Le Viste that a series of tapestries about courtly love will still bring glory to the Le Viste name.
Nicolas himself is a womanizer --- the novel opens from his point of view, and we quickly learn that his amorous sights are set on Le Viste's teenage daughter, Claude. Much to the reader's surprise (and delight), when Claude narrates the next section of the novel we learn that she is just as lustful as Nicolas, and her prose just as bawdy. Needless to say, when Claude's family discovers their flirtation, her mother (who wants to be a nun) must concoct a plan to keep the would-be lovers apart. Claude is banished to a convent and Nicolas is sent to Brussels to supervise the weaving of the tapestries there.
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 9 2007
Format: Paperback
This story is set in medieval/Renaissance France

A rich Paris merchant, commissions a young portrait artist better know for his womanizing to design dramatic tapestries to grace his ball room walls. Instead of battles the nobleman is talked into accepting designs based around the seduction of the Unicorn, which fits more the artist lustful view of life and women. The tension increases when the artist directs his libidinous appetite toward the daughters of his patrons.

I loved this book, the author uses seven different narrative voices , all consistent and clear which makes a far more intense and emotional reading. The mysterious Unicorn tapestry certainly makes a rich and elaborate story.
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By Jacques on Oct. 20 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Boy, I wasn't ready for this one! Tracy Chevalier's tale of an artist and his dallying with the servants is a subtle study in power plays, moray of the past, and sexy and imaginative romps. First we have Nicholas who gets a commission to draw the sketches for tapestries. He's to do this for a nobleman and ends up falling in love with the nobelman's daughter. Then there's the housemaid who Nicholas can't keep his hands (and other body parts) off and out of. A compelling story with just enough spice, the excellent writing will remind you of "Girl with a Pearl Earring" or possibly some of McCrae's books (think "Bark of the Dogwood). If you liked "Girl" you'll love this one. This books makes for a great escape on a cold autumn night.
Also recommended: Any of the other Chevalier books and the novel THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD
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