By Tracy Chevalier

A travel de strength of heritage and mind's eye, The girl and the Unicorn is Tracy Chevalier’s solution to the secret at the back of one of many artwork world’s nice masterpieces—a set of bewitching medieval tapestries that hangs this present day within the Cluny Museum in Paris. they seem to painting the seduction of a unicorn, however the tale in the back of their making is unknown—until now.

Paris, 1490.  A smart French nobleman commissions six lavish tapestries celebrating his emerging prestige at courtroom. He hires the charismatic, conceited, sublimely gifted Nicolas des Innocents to layout them. Nicolas creates havoc one of the girls within the house—mother and daughter, servant, and lady-in-waiting—before taking his designs north to the Brussels workshop the place the tapestries are to be woven. There, grasp weaver Georges de l. a. Chapelle hazards every little thing he has to complete the tapestries—his most interesting, most complicated work—on time for his exacting French buyer. the implications swap all their lives—lives which have been captured within the tapestries, if you be aware of the place to look.

In The girl and the Unicorn, Tracy Chevalier weaves truth and fiction right into a appealing, undying, and interesting literary tapestry—an impressive tale exquisitely told.

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I did not a lot fancy being between loud males, however it may be a greater position to haggle with him over Jean Le Viste's calls for. Georges Le Jeune got here with us, and that i despatched Luc to fetch Philippe besides. We had now not made an evening of it in it slow. ‘Ah,’ Nicolas sighed, having a look round and smacking his lips as he drank. ‘Brussels beer and Brussels corporation. How may possibly I overlook this? Taverns like graves the place they serve water and speak to it beer. For this i have travelled ten days on undesirable roads? ’ Myself i used to be joyful it used to be quiet. ‘It can be livelier later. you will have your enjoyable. ’ Georges Le Jeune desired to find out about Nicolas' trip — how his horse used to be to journey, who rode with him, the place he stayed. he is a lot taken by means of the idea of alternative locations, even though while he has include me to Antwerp or Bruges he is slept poorly, eaten little and been scared of strangers. continuously he is satisfied to come domestic. He says he desires to see Paris at some point, yet i do know he'll by no means cross. ‘Did you meet thieves at the highway? ’ Georges Le Jeune requested now. ‘No, not anything greater than dust acquired in our means — dust and a lame horse. ’ ‘Then how did you get that? ’ Georges Le Jeune pointed on the yellowish bruises round Nicolas' eye. ‘And you will have damage your part. ’ Nicolas shrugged. ‘There was once a brawl in a single of the taverns the place I drink in Paris. I acquired stuck up in it, notwithstanding it was once naught to do with me. ’ He grew to become to me. ‘How is Aliénor? ’ he requested. ‘Is her trousseau approaching? ’ I frowned. What may perhaps he learn about Aliénor's trousseau? simply Christine and Georges Le Jeune knew of the contract i might made with Jacques Le Bœuf. Christine had insisted that we inform our son in order that he might understand what to anticipate whilst he took over the workshop. He had instructed not anyone else, although — he can retain secrets and techniques. sooner than i may imagine what to reply to, Philippe arrived with Luc. ‘We did not count on you back,’ he acknowledged to Nicolas as he sat down. ‘You painted so speedy final summer season i used to be certain you have been joyful to head. i presumed you vowed by no means to go away Paris back. ’ Nicolas smiled. ‘I have company with Georges, and that i desired to see how the tapestries are approaching. after all it is usually a excitement to determine Christine and Aliénor. i used to be simply asking Georges approximately her. ’ He became to me back. ‘How does she fare? ’ ‘Aliénor is particularly busy now,’ I acknowledged curtly. ‘She sews the tapestries lengthy into the evening in order that she will not be in our means throughout the day. ’ ‘Then you may have a bonus over the opposite workshops,’ Nicolas acknowledged. ‘If she may well see she could by no means have the ability to stitch at the hours of darkness. yet being blind, she will be able to paintings all evening and never simply among the bells. you'll be thankful that Aliénor is any such aid. ’ I had now not considered it that method. ‘Of direction she has no time to paintings on her trousseau, then,’ Nicolas extra. Philippe begun. i guess someone could — nobody expects Aliénor to marry. ‘My daughter is not caring a few trousseau, yet approximately those tapestries, like several of us,’ I muttered. ‘And now that we are to lose months it will likely be even worse. ’ I had now not intended to blurt it out, yet Nicolas frustrated me in order that i could not aid it.

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