Working name of UK writer, moviemaker and actor Terence Graham Parry Jones (1942- ), who first came to notice as a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus. An Oxford graduate in medieval literature, he rejected academia, though his Chaucer's Knight: The Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary (1980 US) is a clear attempt to justify in academic terms the portrait suggested by the subtitle. Throughout his creative career he has constantly expressed an interest in the medieval world, notably in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), which he co-wrote and, with Terry Gilliam, co-directed, and Erik the Viking (1989), which he directed, wrote, took a major role in, and put in book form as Erik the Viking * (1989; vt Erik the Viking: The Screenplay 1989 US); the latter movie's credits specifically state that the screenplay was not based on TJ's The Saga of Erik the Viking (1983). He directed and acted in Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) as well as Monty Python's Meaning of Life (1983), and wrote the screenplay for Labyrinth (1986). Among other movies directed by TJ is Personal Services (1987), about the career of a brothel madam; Consuming Passions (1988) is based on a tv play he wrote with Michael Palin, Secrets (broadcast 1983), in which a young executive gains glory by discovering that the addition of corpses to the mix makes his company's chocolate sell better.
Of almost as much interest are TJ's books, which include: The Complete and Utter History of Britain * (1969) with Michael Palin, a tv tie; Bert Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys and Girls (1974; rev vt Dr Fegg's Encyclopedia of All World Knowledge 1985) with Palin; Their Finest Hours: Underhill's Finest Hour; Buchanan's Finest Hour (coll 1976) with Palin, two plays; Ripping Yarns * (coll 1978) and More Ripping Yarns * (coll 1978), both with Palin, from the 1976-1979 tv series; Fairy Tales (coll 1980 US; vt Terry Jones' Fairy Tales 1986 UK) illustrated by Michael Foreman; Nicobobinus (1985); The Curse of the Vampire Socks (coll 1988), poetry for children; Fantastic Stories (coll 1992; cut vt The Dragon on the Roof 1996 chap); and three titles with Brian Froud: The Goblins of the Labyrinth * (graph 1986), based on Labyrinth, The Goblin Companion (graph 1996) and Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book (graph 1994), which contains images of Fairies who have been pressed like leaves, and which won a Hugo Award. TJ also contributed to the various Monty Python books (> Monty Python's Flying Circus). [JG/JC]
Terence Graham Parry Jones