The Lady and the Unicorn Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Lady and the Unicorn

Nicolas des Innocents is commissioned to create a tapestry for Jean le Viste, a rich nobleman. While going over the terms, he meets Jean's young daughter, Claude who is attracted to the handsome artist. When they are caught in an indelicate situation, she is separated from him.
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He goes to Brussels to supervise the preparation of the pattern for the weaving of the tapestry. There he meets the beautiful daughter of the weaver who is blind. When he returns to Paris, he tries to see Claude, but is unable. Meanwhile the weaver's daughter has been betrothed by her parents to a brutish wool dyer whom she does not love. Nicolas comes back to Brussels to see how the work is going and finds a way to help her out of her engagement.

The review of this Book prepared by Jack Goodstein

Like the author's earlier book, The Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Lady and the Unicorn tells the story of the creation of a work of art. In the late 15th century, Nicholas les Innocents is commissioned by Jean Le Viste to do a set of tapestries. Le Viste's idea is the tapestries will be of a battle. However, Genevieve des Nanterres, Le Viste's wife, convinces Nicholas to make the tapestries tell the story of the Lady who seduces the Unicorn. While at their wealthy home, Nicholas falls in love with their teenage daughter, Claude. However, he is far below her in social class, and her parents have already decided that Claude will marry a nobleman. After Nicholas designs the tapestries, they are woven by a workshop in Brussels. Nicholas goes to the workshop and meets two more women, the wife of the weaver, and their blind daughter. Nicholas uses the faces of these four women in his tapestries. His relationships with the these women, and with the tapestries, change his life.

The review of this Book prepared by Susanna Marlowe

Chapter Analysis of The Lady and the Unicorn

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Life of a profession:    -   artist Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Lover is    -   of a different social class

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   artist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   French


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   impregnation/reproduction Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Tracy Chevalier Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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