Terry Jones' Medieval Lives

Random House
35
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Was medieval England full of knights on horseback rescuing fainting damsels in distress? Were the Middle Ages mired in superstition and ignorance? Why does nobody ever mention King Louis the First and Last? And, of course, those key questions: which monks were forbidden the delights of donning underpants... and did outlaws never wear trousers?

Terry Jones and Alan Ereira are your guides to this most misrepresented and misunderstood period, and they point you to things that will surprise and provoke. Did you know, for example, that medieval people didn't think the world was flat? That was a total fabrication by an American journalist in the 19th century. Did you know that they didn't burn witches in the Middle Ages? That was a refinement of the so-called Renaissance. In fact, medieval kings weren't necessarily merciless tyrants, and peasants entertained at home using French pottery and fine wine.

Terry Jones' Medieval Lives reveals Medieval Britain as you have never seen it before - a vibrant society teeming with individuality, intrigue and innovation.

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About the author

Terry Jones is best known as a member of Monty Python but he has also written books on medieval England, Chaucer's Knight, the highly acclaimed Who Murdered Chaucer? and Crusades, as well as Terry Jones' Barbarians, which accompanied a major television series he presented in 2006. He is the author of several children's books including Fairy Tales and Fantastic Stories, The Knight and the Squire and The Lady and the Squire. He has directed several feature films: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life, Personal Services, Erik the Viking and The Wind in the Willows.

Alan Ereira has worked as an award-winning producer and writer of history programmes on radio and television for over 40 years, and has collaborated with Terry for ten years on a number of historical films. His previous books include The People's England, The Invergordon Mutiny, The Heart of the World and (with Terry Jones) Crusades and Terry Jones' Barbarians.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
May 27, 2009
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781409070450
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Medieval
History / World
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A compelling, lucid, and highly readable chronicle of medieval life written by the authors of the bestselling Life in a Medieval Castle and Life in a Medieval City

Historians have only recently awakened to the importance of the family, the basic social unit throughout human history. This book traces the development of marriage and the family from the Middle Ages to the early modern era. It describes how the Roman and barbarian cultural streams merged under the influence of the Christian church to forge new concepts, customs, laws, and practices. Century by century it follows the development -- sometimes gradual, at other times revolutionary -- of significant elements in the history of the family:

The basic functions of the family as production unit, as well as its religious, social, judicial, and educational roles.
The shift of marriage from private arrangement between families to public ceremony between individuals, and the adjustments in dowry, bride-price, and counter-dowry.
The development of consanguinity rules and incest taboos in church law and lay custom.
The peasant family in its varying condition of being free or unfree, poor, middling, or rich.
The aristocratic estate, the problem of the younger son, and the disinheritance of daughters.
The Black Death and its long-term effects on the family.Sex attitudes and customs: the effects of variations in age of men and women at marriage.
The changing physical environment of noble, peasant, and urban families.
Arrangements by families for old age and retirement.
In this thoroughly satisfying and completely disorienting novel based on a story line by Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Terry Jones recounts an unforgettable tale of intergalactic travel and mishap. The saga of "the ship that cannot possibly go wrong" sparkles with wit, danger, and confusion that will keep readers guessing which reality they are in and how, on earth, to find their way out again.

At the center of the galaxy, a vast, unknown civilization is preparing for an event of epic proportions: the launching of the greatest, most gorgeous, most technologically advanced Starship ever built-the Starship Titanic.

An earthling would see it as a mixture of the Chrysler Building, the tomb of Tutankhamen, and Venice. But less provincial onlookers would recognize it as the design of Leovinus, the galaxy's most renowned architect. He is an old man now, and the creation of the Starship Titanic is the pinnacle achievement of his twenty-year career.

The night before the launch, Leovinus is prowling around the ship having a last little look. With mounting alarm he begins to find things are not right: unfinished workmanship, cybersystems not working correctly, robots colliding with doors. How could this have happened? And how could this have happened without his knowing?

Something somewhere is terribly wrong.

On the following day, in an artificial event staged for the media, the Starship Titanic will leave its construction dock under autopilot and, a few days later, make its way to the terminal to pick up passengers for its maiden voyage. Although the ship will be deserted during its very first flight, it is nevertheless a major event, watched by all the galaxy's media.

Hugely, magnificently, the fabulous ship eases its way forward from the construction dock, picks up speed, sways a bit, wobbles a bit, veers wildly, and just before it can do massive damage to everything around it, appears to undergo SMEF (Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure).

In just ten seconds, the whole, stupendous enterprise is over. And our story has just begun.

Somehow three earthlings, one Blerontin journalist, a semideranged parrot, and a shipful of disoriented robots must overcome their differences. It's the only way to save the Starship Titanic ("The Ship That Cannot Possibly Go Wrong") from certain destruction and rescue the economy of an entire planet-not to mention to survive the latest threat, an attack by a swarm of hostile shipbuilders. . . .


From the Hardcover edition.
In this thoroughly satisfying and completely disorienting novel based on a story line by Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Terry Jones recounts an unforgettable tale of intergalactic travel and mishap. The saga of "the ship that cannot possibly go wrong" sparkles with wit, danger, and confusion that will keep readers guessing which reality they are in and how, on earth, to find their way out again.

At the center of the galaxy, a vast, unknown civilization is preparing for an event of epic proportions: the launching of the greatest, most gorgeous, most technologically advanced Starship ever built-the Starship Titanic.

An earthling would see it as a mixture of the Chrysler Building, the tomb of Tutankhamen, and Venice. But less provincial onlookers would recognize it as the design of Leovinus, the galaxy's most renowned architect. He is an old man now, and the creation of the Starship Titanic is the pinnacle achievement of his twenty-year career.

The night before the launch, Leovinus is prowling around the ship having a last little look. With mounting alarm he begins to find things are not right: unfinished workmanship, cybersystems not working correctly, robots colliding with doors. How could this have happened? And how could this have happened without his knowing?

Something somewhere is terribly wrong.

On the following day, in an artificial event staged for the media, the Starship Titanic will leave its construction dock under autopilot and, a few days later, make its way to the terminal to pick up passengers for its maiden voyage. Although the ship will be deserted during its very first flight, it is nevertheless a major event, watched by all the galaxy's media.

Hugely, magnificently, the fabulous ship eases its way forward from the construction dock, picks up speed, sways a bit, wobbles a bit, veers wildly, and just before it can do massive damage to everything around it, appears to undergo SMEF (Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure).

In just ten seconds, the whole, stupendous enterprise is over. And our story has just begun.

Somehow three earthlings, one Blerontin journalist, a semideranged parrot, and a shipful of disoriented robots must overcome their differences. It's the only way to save the Starship Titanic ("The Ship That Cannot Possibly Go Wrong") from certain destruction and rescue the economy of an entire planet-not to mention to survive the latest threat, an attack by a swarm of hostile shipbuilders. . . .


From the Hardcover edition.
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