© 2012

The Medieval Python

The Purposive and Provocative Work of Terry Jones

  • Editors
  • R. F. Yeager
  • Toshiyuki Takamiya

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. R. F. Yeager, Toshiyuki Takamiya
    Pages 1-4
  3. Sanae Ikeda
    Pages 5-11
  4. V. A. Kolve
    Pages 13-25
  5. Nigel Saul
    Pages 39-54
  6. Michael Palin
    Pages 55-58
  7. Peter Nicholson
    Pages 75-86
  8. R. F. Yeager
    Pages 87-103
  9. Richard Firth Green
    Pages 181-193
  10. Priscilla Martin
    Pages 207-213
  11. John J. Thompson
    Pages 215-228

About this book


This is a collection of essays by diverse hands engaging, interrogating, and honoring the medieval scholarship of Terry Jones. Jones' life-long engagement with the Middle Ages in general, and with the work of Chaucer in particular, has significantly influenced contemporary understanding of the period generally, and Middle English letters in particular. Both in film of all types - full-feature comedy (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) as well as educational television series for BBC, the History Channel, etc. (e.g., Medieval Lives) - and in his published scholarship (e.g., Chaucer's Knight, in original and revised editions, Who Murdered Chaucer?), Jones has applied his unique combination of carefully researched scholarship, keen intelligence, fearless skepticism of establishment thinking, and his broad good humor to challenge, enlighten and reform. No one working today in either Middle English studies or in period-related film and/or documentary can proceed untouched by Jones' purposive, provocative views. Jones, perhaps more than any other medievalist, can be said to be an integral part of what Palgrave deems the "common dialogue."


England France history history of literature Medieval Literature Middle Ages

About the authors

R.F YEAGER Professor and Chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages at the University of West Florida, USA.

TOSHIYUKI TAKAMIYAIS Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Keio University, Japan.

Bibliographic information


'Only a gallimaufrey of this kind could pay proper tribute to the abundance of Terry Jones's medieval interests. Here are serious engagements with areas of history he opened up to dispute: studies of sex and satire and pacifism, a pilgrim biography that Chaucer overlooked, advice on Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a teaching aid, and a piece on limbless warriors entitled 'Legs and the Man.'' - Helen Cooper, Magdalene College, Cambridge University

'That a group of medievalists should have managed to respond to so many aspects of the life and achievements of Terry Jones is remarkable in itself, but just as remarkable is the quality of the dialogue to which his challenging work, as artist and historian, gives rise. The consistently excellent studies that make up this gesture of friendship and admiration reveal Jones as the cause of wit in others in a way that will surely give him pleasure.' - Winthrop Wetherbee, Cornell University