MEET THE CHARACTERS
Cynewyn of Drayton
Cynewyn is entirely fictitious but someone like her probably existed. The genius and artistry of the Bayeux Tenture was not the result of a man’s design, in my opinion.
Thurstan de Bassett
Thurstan is a very talented falconer who finds and trains the best birds in the world. His job as Grand Falconer to King William was prestigious and important.
Isabelle de Bassett
In real life, Isabelle de Broyes was married three times before the age of 21, when she married Thurstan, had one child and then lived and died in Normandy.
A Saxon needlewoman recruited to work on the BT, she is the victim of Odo’s persistent sexually predatory behavior.
Fiercely loyal to Cynewyn, he pledges his life to protect her. His nature is earnest and kind, he steps out of his comfort zone to learn to read and write.
She is canny, smart and unafraid to speak her mind, all qualities that her lover, Hugh d’Avranches, Earl of Chester, adores.
She is a mostly benevolent mistress, with the exception of enabling and turning a blind eye to Odo’s predation upon Aelfgyva at the Abbey.
King William I
William was by turns extremely brutal (the Harrowing of the North which Edith refers to) and quite generous in his forgiveness of enemies.
Queen Edith was the ultimate survivor. Married to Edward the Confessor and also sister to King Harold, she was from a long line of rebellious and determined Saxon-Danish.
As William’s half brother, he actually ruled England for more years than William did, because William was most often in Normandy fighting with the French king or other nobles.
Siward of Gloucester
Siward is a real historical figure who opposed William in the years after the Conquest. He is rumored to have been captured by William, then released and banished from England.