Threads of Life

Listen to a sample

What to expect

The Hare with Amber Eyes meets A History of the World in 100 Objects, Threads of Life is 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.

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.

(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critics Review

  • 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

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.