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Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle

Clare Hunter

11 Reviews

Rated 0

Embroidery crafts

The Hare with Amber Eyes meets The History of the World in 100 Objects: an eloquent history of the language of sewing over centuries and across continents.

A history of sewing and embroidery, 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.

From the political storytelling of the Bayeux tapestry's anonymous embroiderers and Mary, Queen of Scots' treasonous stitching, to the sewing of First World War soldiers suffering from PTSD and the banner-makers at Greenham Common, THREADS OF LIFE stretches from medieval France to 1980s America, from a Second World War POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland. It is as much about identity, protest, memory and politics as craft and artistry.

In an eloquent blend of history and memoir with a unique understanding of craft, Clare Hunter's THREADS OF LIFE is an evocative and moving book about the need we all have to tell our story.

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Praise for Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle

  • 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. - Sunday Times

  • Triumphant . . . an inspiration to anyone who has ever thought of picking up a needle and thread. - 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.

  • - 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. Threads

  • of Life is a terrific book.

  • - The Herald

  • Enthralling...beautiful... An inspiring and moving sideways look at history. - Sunday Express

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Clare Hunter

Clare Hunter has been a banner-maker, community textile artist and textile curator for over twenty years and has established the community enterprise NeedleWorks in Glasgow. She was a finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, and had a story published in its 2017 Annual. She was also a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2016. Threads of Life is her first book.

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