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16 July 2018

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Professor Garnett hits the news with novel Bayeux Tapestry study

Professor George Garnett has undertaken a unique study of the Bayeux Tapestry, concerning the “profusion of penises” depicted therein, and venturing an explanation as to their symbolism and meaning.

The study is thought to be the first comprehensive count of how many penises appear in the tapestry.

Professor Garnett wrote in BBC History Magazine: “To the best of my knowledge, no-one has yet tallied the number of penises, except in the negative sense that the human ones were systematically edited out, and the equine ones shrunk to dimensions compatible with Victorian decency, when Elizabeth Wardle and her team of lady embroiderers produced an English replica of the whole tapestry in 1885.”

His study found 93 penises in the tapestry in total, and his article on the subject sparked a media frenzy.

The Daily Mail and The Times enthusiastically took up the story, the pages of the Metro were adorned with news of the discovery for the benefit of commuters, and the Sun enthusiastically reported on “the scores of woven willies buried in the historic battle scene.” The popular ‘IFL Science’ blog shared the news of the tapestry’s “very naughty secret” to its vast following on social media.

Professor Garnett discussed the generous endowment of the Normans’ horses by the creators of the tapestry, singling out in particular the steed of William the Conqueror, which featured the “largest equine penis by far”.

“The clear implications are that the virility of the two leading protagonists is reflected in that of their respective mounts, and that William was in this respect much the more impressive of the two”.

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