1660: England’s great republican leader, Oliver Cromwell, had died. A new king ascends the throne. Theatres had reopened. What better way to enjoyn yourself than watching the latest Robin Hood play?
This book, highly recommended, is an excellent buy for any general reader who wishes to find out about the life of a famous forgotten Victorian crime novelist.
‘The truth and nothing but the truth’—it’s a well-known phrase used in courts of law and most of us have heard it on TV dramas. But where did the phrase first come from?
Ratsey was a hardened offender who disdained honest work and turned to crime to live extravagantly. Little did he know that the account his life, a pamphlet titled “The Life of Gamaliel Ratsey” (1605) kick-started the “true” crime genre of popular literature.
Universal suffrage was not achieved in England until 1918. However, a century-and-a-half before, one brave aristocrat proposed that all men have the right to vote. And he proposed this in the House of Lords of all places!
Dorothy found that the hardest subject to teach her children was history. “They had never heard of Robin Hood,” she remarked, “and never played at being Cavaliers and Roundheads.”
As Du Vall approached the carriage he and looked into the window flashing his huge pistol, he exclaimed: “Those eyes of yours, madam, have undone me. I am captivated with that pretty good-natured smile.”
Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudesley were outlaws who were as famous as Robin Hood. Now they’re entirely forgotten!
“The story had been amended [by the tramps] … just as children amend the stories of Samson and Robin Hood … It was oral tradition lingering on, like a faint echo from the Middle Ages.”
Angelo Calfo briefly discusses an episode which occurred during George Orwell’s time as a policeman in Burma, British India.
Historians and literary critics previously assumed that Joseph Ritson (1752-1803) had no knowledge of a 15th-century poem of “Robin Hood and the Monk”. They are quite wrong.
In 1832, the publisher Charles Knight had a bright idea: every Saturday he would publish a new magazine which whose aim was to educate working-class readers about their world. It would not contain news, and would therefore be exempt from the Stamp Tax (the much-hated “tax on knowledge”), meaning that its retail price would be very low at only 1d.
John Mathew Gutch is often overlooked by modern Robin Hood scholars but, for a brief period in the Victorian era, he was the UK’s most famous Robin Hood historian.
I remember it well: it was the evening of 17 November 2019—it was a dark and stormy night, and wintry rain fell in torrents, when I, a mild-mannered professor, found myself wrongly accused of a crime. Would I ever clear my name?
In the 18th century, a man could vote twice. He also expected to be paid expenses if he had to travel to vote. He also expected to be wined and dined by the
What emerges from Alexander Kaufman’s collection is the image of a socially diverse rebellion which included yeomen, esquires, gentlemen, land labourers, and even constables. For the first time, all the major historiographical, legal, and literary sources relating to Jack Cade’s Rebellion can be found in one easily accessible, extremely well-researched volume. This book, compiled by Kaufman—who is already a well-established expert on the topic—is likely to become and remain the standard work on the events of 1450 in the years to come. It will be indispensable for scholars, students, and even general readers wishing to learn more about that turbulent year in English history.
Excellent article which I highly recommend reading!
Anthony Bynoe, a student-athlete at Richmond: The American International University, turns our attention to the life and works of Pierce Egan (1772–1849)
“A man begins to commit murder from the moment he indulges sadistic day dreams…and begins to buy sadistic novelettes, or seek out a prostitute or masochistic amateur to share his perverted interests.”
Most authors promise themselves they’ll never look at reviews of their book, but we can never help maybe sneakily wondering if our ‘average star’ count on Amazon has gone up or whether a feature has been done on your book on the local radio (and let me tell you, Goodreads reviewers are the harshest taskmasters). But I was lucky enough to have my Robin Hood book featured on an Australian radio station
The summer of 1791 was an unusually wet one. The young schoolboy, and future Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, therefore had a lot of time on his hands. It was probably the weather that induced him to stay inside longer than usual and write a romance entitled “Harold; or, The Castle of Morford” (Bodleian MS Misc. Eng. e.21. Summary Catalogue 31777).
The room contains an assortment of devices for inflicting pain. All the time, the client is pleading with Katy for her forgiveness, promising “he will be good,” while she lays into him with the whiplash of her tongue, and afterwards with her collection of implements.
Joseph Ritson was a man of humble beginnings, a great scholar, a friend to the poor, and a radical, and his work had a profound influence on 19th- and 20th-century Robin Hood novels and films.
“This was such a fun and insightful book to read. Basdeo is able to combine the history of each century with how that changed the Robin Hood narrative and a light, readable […]