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Former Teddy Hall student Terry Jones has donated a large number of books from his library to the College.

The College kept a portion of the books donated by the Monty Python star, who is also a noted author and scholar, for the Library and laid out over 600 books for students to take for free.

The books on offer for students were all taken within a few hours on Monday and included novels, history textbooks, travel guides, atlases and encyclopaedias.

Professor Keith Gull, Principal of Teddy Hall, said: “Terry contacted me and said he was restructuring his library… It is a working collection with huge diversity (but not an antiquarian collection).

“I and our Senior and Finance Bursar, Simon Costa, drove to his home in a large van and collected the books. They were sorted and checked – many that had benefit to the college library have been selected and then the others were placed out for students to have.

“It was a typically very generous donation from an academically minded alumnus to the Hall and its present students.”

Ed Bunker, a first year Earth Scientist at Teddy Hall, said there “was a lot about Chaucer” especially, but that “the books were quite old and a bit musty”.

He added: “Most of the books there seemed as though they would be attractive to someone reading English or an arts subject, but I still found a few that interested me.”

Jones studied at Teddy Hall in the 1960s and graduated with a 2:1 in English. He was a member of the Oxford Revue with future Monty Python co-star Michael Palin.

As well as acting with the troupe, he co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail and was sole director of Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

He is a noted author of adult and children’s fiction, and has written books and presented television shows on medieval and ancient history. He has a particular interest in the works of Chaucer.

He also has an asteroid named after him between Mars and Jupiter. 9622 Terryjones was discovered in 1993 and is the last in a series of six asteroids carrying the names of the Monty Python troupe.