Friday, August 20, 2010

Was there a Robin Hood? Part.I

     Robert Hood was actually a quiet common one at the time, making the census evidence inconclusive. “Robyn was a proud out law” sang balladeers of the intrepid woodsman. But did Robin Hood even exist? And why has hid legend persisted? It seems almost an injustice to question the Robin Hood legend; such is our innate appreciation for the celebrated champion of the underdog and the common man. Scholars who seek to debunk parts of the legend are practically accomplices to the evil Sheriff of Nottingham; and yet it is the historian’s duty to examine the past, however entertaining the legend handed down to us. In the 19th century, scholars who had grown up with the beloved chivalric tales of Sir Walter Scott reexamined the Robin Hood stories and found them wanting him historical foundations. In his 1882 English and Scottish popular ballads, scholar Francis James child declared Robin Hood a fiction, “absolutely a creation of the ballad genre” but in the later years, more research has suggested there may be some truth to the legend.-
     The first known, extended version of the Robin Hood story is the 15th century ballad collection Lyttle Geste of Robyn Hode. It contains the familiar cast of characters: the sheriff of Nottingham, Robin, little john, and the rest of his “merry men” who steal from the rich and give to the poor in their forest lair. In many of the early versions of the tale, the sylvan locale is Barnesdale forest, in Yorkshire. But  references to robin hood appear in stories and ballads from as early as the mid 14th century, so historian speculate that if there was a historical “ Prince of thieves,” he lived some time before then. In the manorial rolls and similar local records from 1228 and 1230, the name Robert Hood appears, and he is described as a fugitive from justice, who stole “for the benefit of the many.” But the name Robert Hood was actually a quite common one at the time, making the census evidence inconclusive.

2 comments:

  1. All the videos in any version of Robin Hood is very good. And now I wonder if it
    There is a modern version of Robin Hood, to live better, quieter, and have peace around the globe.
    Greetings!

    ReplyDelete

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