Terry Jones

To Burlington House to hear Terry Jones smash a few misconceptions about the middle ages.  A man after my own heart.  With his usual style he asked:  did they believe the earth was flat?  No.  Did they believe in witches?  No.  Were women forced to wear chastity belts?  No.  And so on.  He produced plenty of evidence, excellent footnotes, and a lot of laughs.  If history was taught like this in school every child would be an historian.   And if you want to know who brought in the idea of witches it was bloody Henry VIII.  If you want to know who organised the first public burning it was Bolingbroke, Richard II’s murderous cousin. and if you want to know about chastity belts, it was meant as a joke. I was also delighted to hear him mention a little known fact about Anne of Bohemia.  After being crowned as Queen of England, she asked her young husband, Richard (they were both just sixteen years old) to stop the judicial killing of anyone involved in the rising of 1381.  This official bloodbath was the brain child of the duke of Lancaster, Bolingbroke’s father.  Not many people mention the civilising Plantagenets.  Presumably not enough gore for 21st century taste.   If you get chance to hear Terry Jones do his thing, don’t delay.  I guarantee your enjoyment.

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  1. Anthea D. Redmond /

    I read ‘who Murdered Chaucer” by Terry Jones, and was delighted with his bold and unconventional forms of narrative, and the way he instills knowledge by direct questioning of what you think you know, and inviting a little re-evaluation of what you’ve learned previously throughout schooldays and University. He has a great technique, I agree. I am envious that you had the opportunity to see Terry LIVE as it were, that was an opportunity not to be missed; having recently moved to America, I miss merry old England terribly, and the hills and rivers (and many castles, of course) of my Northumberland home.

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