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Terry Jones' Medieval Lives
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The Emmy-nominated Medieval Lives by legendary Monty Python star and medieval scholar, Terry Jones, finally arrives on DVD! Terry Jones has been leafing through the history books to find out what the medieval world was really like. What he discovered is a treasure trove of extraordinary stories and characters that challenge the tired traditional stereotypes we all grew up with. With the help of animated medial paintings, these wonderful tales bring the Middle Ages vividly to life in all its corruption, violence and greed, courage, enterprise and learning. Anyone who enjoys Chaucer and Rabelais will be familiar with the early humor of the time, but few people know about the dark side of chivalry or that women and serfs were not downtrodden creatures at all. Each episode explores the role and function of a different medieval archetype.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
If I were pressed to find a negative about this series, it feels like a few ends are left dangling- I'm left wanting to see more chapters about the daily life of professional soldiers or lesser nobles. Some chapters, such as the one about kings, is more concerned with interesting trivia over daily life. All in all, minor complaints.
I challenge Mr. Jones to take another look at medieval monastic life and medieval spirituality. His episode on monks leaves the viewer with no sense of the value of spiritual life in general, or medieval or monastic life in particular. Mr. Jones' criticism of religious institutions and their worldly nonsense is most welcome, but can he look beyond these diversions from spirituality toward the real values and benefits that genuinely attracted people from all strata of society, and still do today? For a very different look at monastic life, I recommend the DVD "Into Great Silence" by Phillip Groning - a glimpse into the lives of Carthusian monks today, at the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps, founded by St. Bruno and his followers in 1084.
I think one of the most important jobs of a historian is not just to present the facts as accurately as possible, but actually help us see the world through the eyes of the people studied - and most medieval people lived in a world profoundly centered around religious belief and practice. Could he share with us something of the personal experience of devotion and spirituality, in a way that doesn't seem to assume that medieval people were too ignorant to know better?Read more ›
My husband and I always enjoyed Monty Python, so when we found this gem on Amazon by Terry Jones, and discovered that he is actually a medieval scholar, we were curious to see how the subject matter would be presented. We had a blast! It was totally appropriate for the kids, and we really learned a lot about medieval Europe that we did not previously know. For example, the Peasant Revolt of the 14th century was something glossed over in high school courses, but Terry Jones actually points out some very interesting facts to wrap one's mind around, such as: how did a bunch of peasants have the wherewithal to get together and how were they able to communicate in order to be organized enough to rebel in the first place? Answers provided, and it was a neat surprise.
If you are an Anglophile, Francophile, or history buff, get this DVD! If you just want to expand your mind without the use of illegal substances, get this DVD!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this disappointing and a bit boring. I only got about half way through. Maybe, I was just in a "down" mood. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bryce Babcock
Oh, this is great fun! Interesting, informative. I even began binge watching it. Kudos Terry Jones!Published 9 months ago by W. Mark Smillie
Great show! I would recommend to everyone even the slightest bit interest in medieval times.Published 12 months ago by Julie
Very informative and clever for the most part, but I think Terry Jones gets a bit long-winded with details at times. Read morePublished 13 months ago by jogywn
I'm a big Monty Python fan, and there are stretches of cleverness in here. I bought it to use in my classroom, but it's too racy.Published 18 months ago by Kristen Michelle