Terry Deary

Terry Deary, the author of Horrible Histories

Terry Deary (born 4 March 1946, Sunderland) is a children's author now living in Burnhope, County Durham, England.

A former actor, theatre-director and drama teacher, Deary says he began writing when he was 29. Most famously, he is one of the authors of the Horrible Histories series of books popular among children for their disgusting details, gory information and humorous pictures and among adults for getting children interested in history. Books in the series have been widely translated into other languages and imitated.

A cartoon series has been made of the series of books and was shown on CiTV for a period in 2002.

The first series of a live action comedy sketch show of the same name was shown on CBBC in 2009.

Terry is also known widely throughout children and adult reading groups alike for his True Stories series (see below for series list).

He received an Honorary Doctorate of Education from the University of Sunderland in 2000.

He makes cameos in the TV series, he's a reoccuring actor, however none of his characters are reoccurring.

True Stories SeriesEdit

This non-fiction series was released in both hardback and paperback beginning 1992 with the latest edition (non-combination) being published and released in 1999. A list of the books in this series are below:

  • True Monster Stories (1992)
  • True Horror Stories (2010)
  • True Crime Stories (1994)
  • True Ghost Stories (1995)
  • True Shark Stories (1995)
  • True Detective Stories (1996)
  • True UFO Stories (1997)
  • True Spy Stories (1998)
  • True War Stories (1998)
  • True Disaster Stories (1999)
  • True Mystery Stories

There have also been two books that were combinations of more than one of the previously named books. They were:

  • True Horror Stories / True Monster Stories / True Ghost Stories (1998)
  • True Detective Stories / True Spy Stories (2002)

Tudor Terror SeriesEdit

These historical novels are based on situations that happened in real life although are based around the Tudor and Elizabethan times.

This is a list of the series:

Terry Deary quotesEdit

"I've no interest in schools. They have no relevance in the 21st century. They were a Victorian idea to get kids off the street. Who decided that putting 30 kids with only their age in common in a classroom with one teacher was the best way of educating? At my school there were 52 kids in the class and all I learned was how to pass the 11-plus. Testing is the death of education. Kids should leave school at 11 and go to work. Not down the mines or up chimneys, mind, but working with computers or something relevant. Everything I learned after 11 was a waste of time. Trigonometry, Boyle's law: it's never been of any use to me. They should have been teaching me the life skills I was going to need, such as building relationships, parenting and managing money. I didn't have a clue about any of these things at 18. Schools need to change." [1]


Terry Deary has said of historians: "[They are nearly as seedy and devious as politicians...They pick on a particular angle and select the facts to prove their case and make a name for themselves... They don’t write objective history......Eventually you can see through them all. They all come with a twist."

Terry Deary obtained a D-grade in A-level history, but went on to sell more than 20 million copies of gory children’s books on the subject. However, he reserved his greatest indignation for Niall Ferguson, one of the country’s best known historians. In an interview, he said: "Obnoxious people like Niall Ferguson write a book to prove that the British Empire was a good thing...He’s a deeply offensive right wing man who uses history to get across a political point."

Professor Ferguson, a former Oxford University lecturer who has made several television documentaries on the British Empire, America and money, said he was surprised by the comments. He said: "It’s a little like asking Rory Bremner for his opinion on George Osborne’s spending cuts or Sacha Baron Cohen to review Simon Schama’s forthcoming history of the Jews...I have read some of the Horrible Histories to my children, along with Harry Potter, The Hobbit and many other children’s books. They’re quite funny. And so is this." [1]

Other BooksEdit

A list of other books published by Terry Deary are below:

  • Spooks (1997)
  • Hope Street (1980)[2]
  • Ghost For Sale (2001)
  • The Treasure Of Crazy Horse (2001)
  • The Custard Kid (2001)
  • The Wishing Well Ghost (2002)
  • Into The Lion's Den (2002)
  • Footsteps In The Fog (2003)
  • The Boy Who Haunted Himself (2004)
  • The Last Viking (2005)
  • The King In Blood Red And Gold (2005)
  • The Prince Of Rags And Patches (2005)
  • The Fire Thief (2005)
  • The Lady Of Fire And Tears (2005)
  • The Hat-Trick (2006)
  • The Lord Of The Dreaming Globe (2006)
  • Queen Of The Dying Light (2006)
  • Flight Of The Fire Thief (2006)
  • The Fire Thief Fights Back (2007)
  • Potty Politics (part of the The Knowledge series)
  • Great big Father Christmas joke book
  • Horrible Histories
  • Master Crook’s Crime Academy

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Writing history, Interview with Terry Deary, The Guardian newspaper, Tuesday August 12, 2003.,5500,1016371,00.html
  2. ^ ISBN 0-304-30514-6


  • He makes a reoccurring cameo in the Horrible Histories 2009 series
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