Embroidering The Truth
The story of the Bayeux Tapestry and the people behind it
- Comedy Drama
- BBC Radio 4
- Katy Brand, Charlie Anson, Katy Sobey, Lisa Zahra, Jonny Holden, Rosie Cavaliero and Tracy Wiles
- Abigail Youngman
- Mary Ward-Lowery
Rapacious Bishop Odo (Charlie Anson) meets his match in the Anglo-Saxon former Queen, Edith (Katy Brand). He wants her wealth, she wants to survive. Armed only with a needle she leads a group of women in a bid to outwit their violent Norman oppressors. Her plan? To save her skin and, in the process, to create a masterpiece and a message that will last a thousand years. It is the Bayeux Tapestry.
The year is 1070. England is occupied by the Normans. They use any means necessary to suppress English rebels. A group of disparate women fleeing for their lives find themselves living, almost imprisoned, in Wilton Abbey. They include former Queen of England, Edith of Wessex. She has been allowed to keep her lands and wealth because she has paid tribute to the new King, William. But William's powerful half-brother Bishop Odo has other ideas. Odo is 'an untrustworthy man, ambitious, given to fleshly desires and of enormous cruelty'.
English needlework was the best in the Western World. Edith persuades Odo that she can set out the definitive story of William's conquest in the form of a tapestry. So he must keep them alive. But first Edith has to convince women traumatised by the invasion to work for the enemy.
Edith wheels and deals to avoid Odo's demands, while the other women find ways to stitch their secrets into the tapestry, risking their lives to tell the truth. Will Odo discover their hidden message and take revenge? And how much will Edith compromise?
- Production company
- Also known as
- Bayeux: Embroidering The Truth (Other official name)
- Laugh track
- First broadcast
- Thursday 17th October 2019 on BBC Radio 4 at 2:15pm
- Episode length
- 45 minutes