Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle (Paperback)
  • Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle (Paperback)
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Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle (Paperback)

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£10.99
Paperback 320 Pages
Published: 05/03/2020
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Waterstones Says

Spanning time and place, from Saxon England to Singaporean prisoner of war camps, Threads of Life combines history, politics and textile-making to weave an inspiring narrative of resistance and protest that is by turns enchanting and shocking.         

Waterstones Scottish Book of the Month for March 2020

A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

The Hare with Amber Eyes meets The History of the World in 100 Objects: an eloquent history of the language of sewing

For the mothers of the disappeared in 1970s Argentina, protest was difficult. Every Thursday they marched in front of government buildings wearing headscarves embroidered with the names of their lost children. Through sewing, they found a way to campaign. In Tudor England Mary, Queen of Scots was under house arrest and her letters were censored, so she sewed secret treason into her needlework to communicate with the world outside.

From the political propaganda of the Bayeux Tapestry and First World War soldiers with PTSD, to the maps sewn by schoolgirls in the New World, Threads of Life stretches from medieval France to contemporary Mexico, from a POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland. It is a chronicle of identity, protest, memory, power and politics told through the stories of the men and women, over centuries and across continents, who have used the language of sewing to make their voices heard, even in the most desperate of circumstances.

In an eloquent blend of history and memoir, Threads of Life is an evocative and moving book about the need we all have to tell our story.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781473687936
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 225 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

It's an astonishing feat, this patchwork quilt of history, culture and politics, which takes us from Saxon England to colonised African tribes, Palestinian villages, rural China and the cramped homes of American slaves . . . Her highly impressive debut is a richly textured and moving record of a history that has largely being lost. - Christina Patterson, Sunday Times

Triumphant . . . an inspiration to anyone who has ever thought of picking up a needle and thread. - Jane Shilling, Mail on Sunday

Astonishing . . . Hunter studied creative writing and cleverly uses personal narrative to create a persona one will instantly like . . . so well written. - TLS

Fascinating - Daily Telegraph

A blend of history and memoir, the book roves across centuries and continents to reveal how sewing has played a crucial part in our lives - from courts and battlefields to prisons and drawing rooms... Many of the stories in Threads of Life are heart-breaking...This beautiful, moving book makes you want to rush out and grab a needle. - Liz Hoggard, Radio Times

Enchanting - S Magazine

Enthralling... By unpicking the seams of the clothes on our backs, Clare Hunter has brought to light elements of history that have languished in our collective attic for far too long. Threadsof Life is a terrific book. - Susan Flockhart, The Herald

Enthralling...beautiful... An inspiring and moving sideways look at history. - Eithne Farry, Sunday Express

Threads of Life is a beautifully considered book that reminds us of how much sewing plays a crucial part in expressing the many facets of our lives. Clare Hunter has managed to mix the personal with the political with moving results. Reading it made me pick up my needle with a new perspective. - Tracy Chevalier

Hunter's non-fiction debut reframes needlework as a powerful and political medium . . . Threads of Life is a compelling and beautifully written account of how marginalised peoples throughout history have used the language of sewing, embroidery and textiles to tell their neglected stories. - Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller

A rich and moving history of sewing and embroidery - Sunday Times (Culture)

A compelling account of how needlework has given a voice to the voiceless - Daily Mail

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“A history of sewing and embroidery....”

I never knew how much I would enjoy reading about sewing and embroidery through cultures and history. Clare Hunter tells the story of the Bayeux tapestry, Mary, Queen of Scot’s secret messages inside her embroidery,... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 65

“Beautiful narrative”

If I was stuck on a desert island this would be the book I would like to have with me.
The writing is beautiful, the subject matter important but so often hidden. Clare Hunter brings alive the women's work that... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 19

“A historical book of sewing, art and women's lives”

This is a “History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle” , or at least a history of the ways in which needlework has sustained, been a means of recording lives and making a protest. It makes a significant point,... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 17

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