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on October 29, 2006
Terry Jones and Alan Ereira deconstruct myths of medieval England. This is achieved with trademark humour and serious analysis, a combination not usually found in history books. The book is divided into chapters that examine stereotypical personalities of the time: the peasant, monk, knight, etc.

I was reminded how history is shaped by its storytellers and I realize that my own mid 20th century schooling followed conventional English lines without interest in other points of view.

This is a quick and fun read that will lead you to further examinations.
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on November 20, 2013
The author and Monty Python member is also a screenwriter and actor, film director, children's author, popular historian, political commentator and TV documentary host (I am incredibly under accomplished). Jones along with co-author Alan Ereira employ an approachable style to a subject that undeniably fascinates them both. I picked it up to help with a popular history of marketing I am penning. It was gratifying to find that their findings are supportive of my own.

Most of what resonated with me concerns the sophistication of people at the time regarding their needs and wants. They occupied substantial homes, brewing and imbibing were well underway and French wines were imported. The story of minstrels and their comparison to modern PR men is also great fun as was the aggressively entrepreneurial monks, specifically the Cistercians. The holy men of the period were extremely well off. Records from Westminster Abbey betray a decadence in the consumption of food and drink. In fact, alcohol accounted for 19% of monks' energy intake when ours is roughly 5%.

Jones and Ereira and other popular historians of our day are doing a great job making history more digestible and fun. They are also righting wrongs by challenging commonly held beliefs and inaccurate school curriculum. The authors warn us not to be ignorant of our past and use the last line to reinforce the reality that so much of history is propaganda not fact.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 26, 2015
If you are interested how different classes of people lived in Medievel times this is the book for you. Author Terry Jones, yes THAT Terry Jones, leads the reader on an informative and humorous trip through the history customs and times of the mis-named Middle ages. This is a very accessible book and is for all. It's is not scholarly and dry and sleep worthy at all.
You learn, and have some fun while doing it so I heartily recommend this book.
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on November 25, 2015
I really enjoyed this book and the light it sheds on the so called "Dark Ages". It debunks our misconceptions about this period in history and is a great read as well.
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on April 20, 2016
Interesting, intriguing and informative. This keeps your interest, and puts some mistaken impressions of the Middle Ages to test. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on November 10, 2015
Excellent
Much of what they present is entirely true and quite contrary to stated beliefs. Academics will not be pleased.
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on June 12, 2015
It's a terrific book, very entertaiing!
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on October 2, 2015
Informative and well written
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 16, 2015
There are too many glaring errors such as Mr Jones reporting that in the eleventh century people were harvesting eight bushels of corn per acre but corn wasn't introduced into Europe from the Americas until the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century. Cannot recommend. Whoops, just learned that Medieval folks referred to many crops as corn and what we know as corn was called maize when it was introduced. So I have gone from one star to three. But there are still other factual errors ( in my somewhat humbled opinion).
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