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Sir Terry Pratchett OBE: The BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture 2010

Sir Terry died on March 12th, 2015, leaving a wonderful legacy of wisdom and humour behind him in his many books, and also in his landmark speech about what is still an almost-taboo subject.

The video is an unmissable opportunity to hear his full 46 minute speech. Sir Terry starts it off, and then hands over to his good friend Sir Tony Robinson (whom many will know as Baldrick in Blackadder) to provide what Sir Terry jokingly calls his “stunt voice”.

If you like Terry Pratchett (or have never heard of him)...

Click the first word panel above for some of Sir Terry's best quotes, click the second word panel for more about his books, and go here if you would like to see all of my own posts about the great man.

Sir Terry Pratchett OBE
April 28th, 1948 - March 12th, 2015

The world has suffered the loss of an almost universally loved fantasy writer, humanist and campaigner for the right to die with dignity and for Alzheimer's research.

He was an enormously prolific author, filling the bookshelves of people all over the world with many treasured possessions. As years went by his output became seriously funny, in every sense, and was often deeply humane.

Not all of his work was fantasy - for example “Dodger”, one of his finest works, is a gripping story set in historical London. As with many of his books for younger readers, “Dodger” can be (and is) enjoyed equally by adults.

He was knighted by the Queen in 2009 for services to literature.

He will live on in so many ways (a good number of which are described here). One of these ways is through his daughter Rhianna, already an author, who (with his blessing) will take over writing the Discworld series.

Click the image of Sir Terry for a superb tributes page (thanks, Karenak), and click the quotation for many of his best quotes.

“Downs in Winter”


Marvellous watercolours by the painter, designer, book illustrator, wood engraver and official War Artist (1940) Eric Ravilious, whose other work is well worth exploring (click either image above if you're interested).

For me, the spirit of Granny Aching still watches over these scenes of “The Chalk”. If you know what I mean then you might also be a fan of Terry Pratchett's wonderful books about Tiffany Aching (trainee witch) and The Wee Free Men (a bunch of tiny Caledonian hooligans), set in a mirror of this countryside (and assorted interconnecting worlds). The books are a unique combination of deep humanity, earthy wisdom and hilarious dialogue - if you have yet to try them, you might enjoy taking a look here.

Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE
(Original post: September 4th, 2010)

O frabjous day! Another book by Terry Pratchett!

This is the fourth in possibly my favourite of all Terry Pratchett's sequences of stories, the sequence following Tiffany Aching, trainee witch (now full witch in this book) and the Wee Free Men (a.k.a. the Nac Mac Feegles), a hilarious bunch of tiny Caledonian hooligans.

(The previous 3 in this series were The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith.)

The stories are very funny, very serious and very wise, and best of all they have the witches. I suspect that (as with Samuel Vimes of the Night Watch in some of his other Discworld novels) his principal witches carry much of his own personal philosophy.

Some time in the next few years, a form of Alzheimer's will rob the world of one of its greatest living authors (Sir Terry was knighted for services to literature), but he will leave behind a truly wonderful legacy. In the meantime, as this book shows, the creative part of his brain is still in absolutely top form.

And that's not all...

This new DVD is possibly the best so far. If you liked the Sky productions of Hogfather and The Colour of Magic, then you will love this one.

Terry Pratchett specialises in sardonic, unsentimental heroines. Claire Foy does a great job of playing Adora Belle Dearheart in this one, just as Michelle Dockery did as Susan (Death's granddaughter) in Hogfather.

The rest of the cast is also top-of-the-range, and the movie is prefaced by a short introduction from Sir Terry himself. This is a joy not to be missed.

If you like Terry Pratchett...

[My review of 'The Bromeliad']

From my web site...

[My books page]
[My movies page]

Yes, we are in one of the worlds of Terry Pratchett. It is our own world in this case, as described in his trilogy for children entitled "The Bromeliad" (which you may have seen as individual volumes entitled "Truckers", "Diggers" and "Wings").

As always, Terry Pratchett makes us see all our absurdities in a wise and funny way, his use of the English language crackles with wit and invention, and his story grips the reader from start to finish.

Some of his best work is written for younger readers but is enjoyed by all ages, and this is well up to his standard. The Bromeliad is a single story in three more or less consecutive parts, concerning the lives and adventures of the race of tiny, fast-living nomes, who are not natives of Earth but whose racial memory has long forgotten this fact. One small group of nomes lives rough in the fields near a motorway, and life becomes so hard that they steal a ride on a lorry (a major undertaking) in the hope that it will take them anywhere that might prove better. This turns out to be a large department store inhabited by a larger group of nomes, living beneath the floorboards of different departments, apparently in the lap of luxury. Alas, the store is due to be demolished. The nomes in residence have become very set in their ways and in their beliefs, and the incoming band of nomes has to seriously shake things up (including themselves) if they are to survive. Their final mass escape from the store is only one step of an enthralling saga, involving hardship, computer assistance (when it feels like it), agonizing personal reappraisals, much hot-wiring and some increasingly awesome forms of transportation.

If you enjoyed his book "The Wee Free Men" then you will love "The Bromeliad". If you like reading and have never heard of either, and are curious to find out why Terry Pratchett was awarded the OBE for "services to literature" in 1998, do try either book - whatever age you are. You may be hooked.

[My review of Shel Silverstein's Official Site For Kids]
[My books page]