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The Tapestry Shop

2.86 of 5 stars 2.86  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The Tapestry Shop, by Joyce Elson Moore, is an historical novel based on the life of Adam de la Halle, a poet/musician who left behind a vast collection of secular compositions. While researching Adam's music, Moore discovered a little-known fact; the earliest version of the Robin Hood legend may have been Adam's play, Le Jeu de Robin et Marion. Because Adam was patronized ...more
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published October 15th 2010 by Five Star (ME)
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This book was chosen as the very first "Featured Author" group read in the Historical Fiction group that I moderate here on Goodreads. The premise sounded fascinating to me - the story of the man who created Robin Hood. The cover is gorgeous as well, of course.

This story follows Adam de la Halle, poet, singer and songwriter and performer over a period of a few years of his life, attempting to fill in some of the gaps and bring him to life. After Adam is exiled in the story for singing a derogat
The Tapestry Shop is the group read this month for the Historical Fictionistas group that I’m in, in which the author, Joyce Elson Moore, is an active member. I was especially looking forward to reading this knowing that Joyce would be taking part in the discussion. It’s so awesome to actually have the author participating and there to answer questions and provide insight!

The story takes place in medieval France and is about the life of Adam de la Halle whose play Robin et Marion is believed to
Brenda Scott
The Tapestry Shop (Five Star Expressions) is an award winning historical fiction by Joyce Elson Moore about the thirteenth century French poet and trouvère, Adam de la Halle of Arras. Moore takes the few facts known about this real life historical figure, and several fictitious characters, and weaves a magical story of romance and adventure. Her writing is eloquent and the characters so real they elicit strong feelings from the reader as we instantly take on the emotions of her characters.

As a
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
The Robin Hood story has always fascinated me; how the legend came to be, is it based on a real man or is it simply a tale. The premise of The Tapestry Shop is that the minstrel Adam de la Halle, a real 13th century musician, wrote the play which became the basis for the Robin Hood legend.

The story is Adam's and his experiences as he endures exile, robbery, a failed marriage, gains an education and falls in love. Catherine's story is told alongside Adam's: her arranged marriage to a lecherous m
"Follow me, come down the path,
The path, the path along the wood."
~ Adam de la Halle, Robin et Marion

I enjoy historical fiction which portrays the lives of ordinary working people, and so found The Tapestry Shop by Joyce Elson Moore an intriguing read. Town life in northern France towards the end of the reign of King St. Louis IX is vividly described with all its bustling trade amid sounds, smells and colors. Catherine Durant, the heroine, is another example of how women shared in the running
Lisa Yarde
Joyce Elson Moore’s The Tapestry Shop examines parts of the life of a French minstrel, the historical figure Adam de la Halle. In the French town of Arras, Adam faces a trumped up charge and endures exile in a monastery at Douai. He leaves behind a wife, Maroie, who seems impatient for his absence. Meanwhile at Vitry, Catherine, the daughter of a tapestry shop owner prepares for a possible marriage to Guillaume de Ridaut, a man whom she despises. She conceals her true failings whom her ailing fa ...more
Holly Weiss
The beautiful cover of the Tapestry Shop by Joyce Elson Moore gives us a hint of the amount of historical research lovingly poured into this novel set in medieval times. Adam de la Halle, a trouvere (singer/composer of songs) in the thirteenth century, studies at the Paris University and falls in love with Catherine who is promised to another. Ms. Moore does a fine job of drawing the reader into the, sights, smells, sounds and confusion of the thirteenth century. I learned that women participat ...more
The author's credentials are impressive. A teacher by background, she left teaching to write full-time, beginning with non-fiction historical nonfiction, later a historical romance which won a RPLA award, and now writes historical novels ranging from ancient Rome to Early Modern Venice. Conservatory trained, that background is evident in this book (somewhat edited from the book cover flyleaf). The book is about a musician named Adam who is exciled because he publicly disagreed with what he thoug ...more
Danielle Nelson
At its core, The Tapestry Shop is a well-researched historical romance (heavy on the historical). It's an enjoyable read, with relatable characters, but it fell short of four stars for me because of, well, the tapestries! Here a tapestry, there a tapestry, everywhere a tapestry...but Catherine's father could have owned a bakery instead of a tapestry shop, and I don't think it would have impacted the story. (Unless I'm missing significance or symbolism in the ever-present tapestries, which is ent ...more
I'm a history buff, but after 100 pages I just didn't connect with the characters or the plot. The book is filled with descriptions that put you in the middle ages, but I didn't care one bit about the characters or what was happening to them. I will say though that detailed descriptions are not always my thing. I don't think it is a bad book; it just isn't for me.

I'd like to thank Carol Fass Publicity & Public Relations for providing a review copy.
Originally published at

While it was beautifully written and had a fabulous cover historical fiction of this time period just really isn't for me. I found it enjoyable and reminiscent of The Mists of Avalon, but the characters themselves didn't do much for me as people. This is recommended for historical fiction fans.
Adam is a troubador, 13th century France, and Catherine is the daughter of a prominent store owner selling woven tapestries. This is their story as well as who they meet and know. Very loosely based on the few facts known about the life of Adam de Halle, an early trouvere.
Sue (booknbeachbag)
This is not the type of book I normally read, but it was selected for my bookclub.

A favorite series of mine has been Rashi's Daughters, set in the same time period, and I felt that I needed to draw upon knowledge from those books to fill in the blanks in this book.
Excellent book. It was interesting to see what the life of Adam de la Halle could have been like. And Catherine was a good strong woman... nice heroine even if she is a little hardheaded. Thanks again to Joyce Elson Moore for signing my book!
Conchita Almora
I loved the portrayal of the troubadour life in 13th century France. Many details of medieval life are given, especially in the live of shop keepers and craftsmen. A very romantic story of thwarted romance.

I wish this book had more to do with Adam then with Adam & Catherines relationship. And WHAT IN THE WORLD was with the wolves scene???! That was just tooooooo much - I stopped reading.
Apr 15, 2011 Mary added it
So far I'm hooked. Anxious to see where the author is going .
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After a brief teaching career, Joyce turned to writing full time, and has reached a widening audience with her books. Along with previous awards and contest wins, she was First Place winner of the 2009 RPLA award for best published romance, and her historical novel, The Tapestry Shop, won the Bronze Medallion from Florida Book Awards in the Popular Fiction category. Joyce is an unabashed Francophi ...more
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