Medieval Lives
Medieval Lives


Terry Jones' Medieval Lives
Terry Jones' Medieval Lives is a 2004 television documentary series produced for the BBC. Written and hosted by Terry Jones, each half-hour episode examines

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Terry Jones' Medieval LivesGenreDocumentaryWritten byTerry JonesDirected byNigel MillerPresented byTerry JonesComposer(s)David MitchamCountry of originUnited KingdomOriginal language(s)EnglishNo. of seasons1No. of episodes8ProductionProducer(s)DistributorOxford Film and Television ProductionReleaseOriginal networkBBC TwoOriginal release3 January –
24 January 2004ChronologyRelated showsTerry Jones' Barbarians

Terry Jones' Medieval Lives is a 2004 television documentary series produced for the BBC. Written and hosted by Terry Jones, each half-hour episode examines a particular Medieval personality, with the intent of separating myth from reality.

The episode The Peasant was nominated for Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming at the 2004 Emmy Awards. Dr. Faye Getz acted as consultant for the series.

Contents Misunderstood History

Being a comedian as well as an historian, Jones takes an established belief, turns that around, and presents proof for his assertion. For example, peasants did not live in complete squalor and actually owned property. Also class divisions were not as severe as people think; there are cases of low-born people who rise to quite high positions.

In the episode on kings, he says, "History isn't necessarily what happened. It's often what people want us to think happened." He uses the following examples:

Jones explained his motivation for making this series in the article in The Observer "The main reason I wanted to make Medieval Lives was to get my own back on the Renaissance. It's not that the Renaissance has ever done me any harm personally, you understand. It's just that I'm sick of the way people's eyes light up when they start talking about the Renaissance. I'm sick of the way art critics tend to say: 'Aaaah! The Renaissance!' with that deeply self-satisfied air of someone who is at last getting down to the 'Real Thing'. And I'm sick to death of that ridiculous assumption that that before the Renaissance human beings had no sense of individuality."

Episode list

The eight episodes were as follows:

Companion book External links History documentaries presented by Terry Jones


 
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