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.
I recently came across an obscure little book entitled The History and Real Adventures of Robin Hood and his Merry Companions. Written by Captain Charles Johnson. To Which are added, some of the most favourite ballads from an old book, entitled Robin Hood’s Garland (1800). The archival entry lists the author as Daniel Defoe (c.1660-1731),
“A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode” (c.1450): Alleviating the Fear of Crime in Late Medieval & Early Modern England?
Did people *need* the myth of a good outlaw?
Do we read ‘books,’ or do we read texts? What is a book?
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.
“A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode” (c.1450) is one of the earliest Robin Hood texts, and one of the most interesting.
Pierce Egan the Younger (1814-1880) was like the George R. R. Martin of his day. He loved the medieval period,
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.
Here are the scans I’ve recently completed of the penny dreadfuls in my collection so far.
Who is the most likely candidate for being the original Robin Hood?
The last historian to address this was James Clarke Holt, and the evidence for the most likely candidate which he identified is laid down here.
This post has been adapted from a chapter in my MA Thesis which was completed under the supervision of Dr. Heather Shore. The tale of Sweeney Todd, the ‘demon barber,’ (originally entitled […]
The early eighteenth century was one of the best ages for satire. Writers such as Joseph Addison (1672-1719) and Richard Steele (1672-1729) wrote their Spectator and Tatler magazines to expose the follies […]
Romanticism was a cultural and intellectual movement spearheaded by poets, artists, writers, sculptors and musicians. Whereas in the eighteenth century men such as Joseph Addison (1672-1719) complained that rural people and provincial […]
Whilst re-organising my home work space, I came across my undergraduate dissertation. I focused upon representations of polite society in eighteenth-century print culture, with a particular focus upon the periodicals of two […]
I can nought parfitly my pater noster as the prest it syngeth, but I can rymes of Robyn Hode and Randalf erle of Chestre – The Vision of Piers the Plowman (c.1380) […]
One of the reasons for the longevity of the Robin Hood legend is the fact that, in the original medieval ballads, his origins are not stated. He is simply there, in the […]
Further to my post about the book Robin Hood’s Garland I told you about earlier, I thought that I’d bring to your attention the following finding. Whilst most people think that Robin […]
When you begin researching the original Robin Hood ballads, the names of a few late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century antiquarians become familiar to you. The likes of Thomas Percy, an Irish Bishop […]