For International Women’s Day, I discuss Thomas Love Peacock’s ground-breaking novel “Maid Marian” (1822).
Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe” (1819)
Walter Scott’s novel “Ivanhoe” (1819) is perhaps the best Robin Hood story ever written.
The Victorian Underworld
This is the text of a public talk given at Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall, Leeds on 1 March 2015 to complement their Crime and Punishment Exhibition.
Charles Johnson’s ‘Lives of the Highwaymen’ (1734)
Johnson’s Lives of the Highwaymen was part of one of the most popular genres of early eighteenth-century literature: the criminal biography.
Joseph Ritson (1752-1803)
An atheist, monarchy-hating, Robin Hood scholar.
Rogues in Early Modern England
The word ‘rogue’ was not invented until the 1560s.
Sir John Falstaff, the Notorious Highwayman
Criminal biographers were so committed to historical accuracy that they gave us The Life of the notorious highwayman, Sir John Falstaff.
“The Noble Birth of Robin Hood” (1662)
“The Noble Birth and Gallant Atchievements of that Remarkable Out-Law Robin Hood. Together with a True Account of the Many Merry and Extravagant Exploits he Play’s in Twelve Several Stories” (1662)
Christmas in Newgate Gaol
In 1863 a reporter decided to experience what it was like to spend Christmas Day amongst the felons in Newgate.
John Dryden’s “A Ballad of Bold Robin Hood, Shewing his Birth, Breeding, and Valour”
John Dryden (1631-1700) is a significant figure in the literary history of the 17th century. In the Sixth Part of his Miscellany Poems he included an old ballad of Robin Hood. This post seeks to explain why he did this.
Walter Scott’s Influence Upon 19th-Century Medieval Scholarship
Examining how Scott’s fictional interpretation of the Middle Ages, in particular the notion that Robin Hood was a Saxon yeoman, influenced historical scholarship in the early-to-mid nineteenth century.
Jack Sheppard (1702-1724)
16 Nov 1724 Jack Sheppard was executed. Here is a brief overview of his life and legend.
Did any women ever rob people in the 17th and 18th centuries?
Recidivism in “A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode” (c.1450)?
Recidivism…refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime.
‘By god that dyed on a tree’: Crux Simplex in “A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode” (c.1450)?
In the 16th century there was an understanding among some thinkers that Christ may have died on a simple wooden stake or tree, rather than a two beam cross, and similarly the Geste of Robyn Hode makes reference to “Cryst that dyed on a tree”.
Henry Fielding’s “Joseph Andrews” (1742)
The Man who served the Booby but loved the Fanny.
Greatness vs. Goodness in Henry Fielding’s “Jonathan Wild” (1743)
In Henry Fielding’s novel, there was no difference between the great men in high life and those in low life.
Robin Hood’s Grave
According to the legend, in old age Robin Hood fell ill and went to visit his cousin, who was the Prioress of Kirklees, so that he could be bled. However, his cousin conspired with her lover, Sir Roger of Doncaster, to kill Robin. So she opened a vein, locked Robin in the upper room of the gatehouse, and let him bleed to death.
The Worst Novel I’ve Ever Read: Samuel Richardson’s “Pamela” (1740)
I feel bad writing about something like this, like I’m betraying my eighteenth-century roots.
A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode (c.1450)
“A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode” (c.1450) is one of the earliest Robin Hood texts, and one of the most interesting.
The English Rogue (1665)
Exorbitancy and Necessity frequently compelled him to perpetrate Villainy; And no wonder, since he lived in the most infectious Air of the worst of most Licentious Times.
The Novel and 18th-Century Criminal Biography
The novel emerged as the dominant literary form in the 1700s, but one of its influences was the contemporary genre of criminal biography.
Waverley Novel Illustrations: The Antiquary (1816)
The Waverley Novels were a series of novels written by the great Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). Amongst this series of novels were many which people today might recognise: Waverley (1814), The Antiquary (1816), Rob Roy (1817), Ivanhoe (1819), and Woodstock (1826) to name but a few.
Highwaymen as Heroes and Social Critics: “Paul Clifford” (1830) by Edward Bulwer Lytton
By the 1830s, the figure of the highwayman had almost vanished from Britain’s roads, but in a series of novels during the 1830s they were romanticised, and some authors adapted their stories to critique early Victorian society.