Literary Birthday – 1 February – Terry Jones

Terry Jones was born 1 February 1942 and died 21 January 2020.


  1. Every age sort of has its own history. History is really the stories that we retell to ourselves to make them relevant to every age. So we put our own values and our own spin on it.
  2. I like my stories once removed.
  3. The funny thing about history is that we imagine that people didn’t laugh in the old days, but of course they did, at stupid things.
  4. I’ve been very lucky to have been able to act, write, and direct and not have to choose just the one thing.
  5. I really wanted to write, but in those days that wasn’t at all the sort of thing a grammar school could encourage. Primary school had been quite different, and they’d really taken an interest in my poetry, but the grammar school took the attitude that you can’t ever make a living out of writing so stop thinking about it.
  6. The problem with the media is [news organisations] are primarily owned by corporations, and corporations are pro-establishment… Newspapers and television start using the vocabulary of politicians, and that’s the way bias creeps in.
  7. Comedy is a dangerous business. If people find something funny you’re okay. But the moment you do something that’s meant to be funny and someone doesn’t find it funny, they become angry.

Terry Jones was a Welsh actor, writer, comedian, screenwriter, film director, and historian. He was a member of the Monty Python comedy team. He wrote many books and screenplays, including comic works, children’s books, including Terry Jones’ Fairy Tales, and more serious writing as a historian on medieval and ancient history. He wrote the script for 1986’s Labyrinth.

Source for screenshot Lesley from Bletchley, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons/ Source 1 for quotes /Source 2 for quotes

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 31st January 2020