Excerpt from The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Lady and the Unicorn

by Tracy Chevalier

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier X
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2004, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2005, 256 pages

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"Yes, Monseigneur, I do."

"All right, then. Tell Léon. And bring me the drawings before Easter." Jean Le Viste turned to cross the courtyard. I bowed to his back.

It hadn't been so hard to convince him as I'd thought. I had been right that Jean Le Viste would want what he thought everyone else had. But then, that is nobility without the generations of blood behind it— they imitate rather than invent. It didn't occur to Jean Le Viste that he might gain more respect by commissioning battle tapestries when no one else had. As sure of himself as he seemed, he wouldn't strike out on his own. As long as he didn't find out that there were no other unicorn tapestries, I would be safe. Of course I would have to design the finest tapestries possible— tapestries that would make other families want their own, and make Jean Le Viste proud to have been the first to own such a thing.

It wasn't just him I wanted to please, though, but his wife and daughter too. I wasn't sure which mattered more to me—Claude's lovely face or Geneviève's sad one. Perhaps there was room for both in the unicorn's wood.

That night I drank at Le Coq d'Or to celebrate the commission, and afterward slept poorly. I dreamt of unicorns and ladies surrounded by flowers, a girl chewing on a clove, another gazing at herself in a well, a lady holding jewels by a small casket, a girl feeding a falcon. It was all in a jumble that I could not set straight. It was not a nightmare, though, but a longing.

When I woke the next morning, my head was clear and I was ready to make the dreams real.

From The Lady and The Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier. Copyright Tracy Chevalier 2003, all rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Dutton Publishing.

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