Imagining Robin Hood: The Late-Medieval Stories in Historical Context

Overview

A.J. Pollard takes us back to the earliest surviving stories, tales and ballads of Robin Hood, and re-examines the story of this fascinating figure. Setting out the economic, social and political context of the time, Pollard illuminates the legend of this yeoman hero and champion of justice as never before.

Imagining Robin Hood questions:

  • what a ?yeoman? was, and what it ...
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Imagining Robin Hood: The Late Medieval Stories in Historical Context

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Overview

A.J. Pollard takes us back to the earliest surviving stories, tales and ballads of Robin Hood, and re-examines the story of this fascinating figure. Setting out the economic, social and political context of the time, Pollard illuminates the legend of this yeoman hero and champion of justice as never before.

Imagining Robin Hood questions:

  • what a ‘yeoman’ was, and what it meant to be a fifteenth-century Englishman
  • Was Robin Hood hunted as an outlaw, or respected as an officially appointed forest ranger?
  • Why do we ignore the fact that this celebrated hero led a life of crime?
  • Did he actually steal from the rich and give to the poor?

Answering these questions, the book looks at how Robin Hood was ‘all things to all men’since he first appeared; speaking to the gentry, the peasants and all those in between. The story of the freedom-loving outlaw tells us much about the English nation, but tracing back to the first stories reveals even more about the society in which the legend arose.

An enthralling read for all historians and general readers of this fascinating subject.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Robin Hood … remains as mysterious and enigmatic as ever.'Barrie Dobson, University of York and John Taylor, University of Leeds, UK

'Original and intriguing … this is not a book any serious ‘gode felawe’ of Robin Hood’s posthumous fraternity can afford to be without.'Barrie Dobson, University of York and John Taylor, University of Leeds, UK

'Informative and stimulating ... full of fascinating material.'Literature & History

Library Journal
Robin Hood is the quintessential antihero who upends authority by robbing from the rich to give to the poor. Pollard (history, Univ. of Teesside, U.K.) here examines the legend in the context of the Middle Ages. He identifies Robin as a yeoman forester, neither aristocrat nor peasant and thus appealing to diverse populations. Sherwood Forest, an imaginary wilderness to the north, conveniently removes the story from the politics of the south. Robin's yeoman status and the greenwood setting serve as a springboard for commentary on the legal system and on the Church shortly before the Reformation. Robin Hood, deduces Pollard, can be all things to all people-as subversive or as traditional as one wishes. Thoroughly researched, with an extensive bibliography, this is recommended for academic libraries and for those with strong folklore collections.-Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415223089
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/1/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

A. J. Pollard is Professor of History at the University of Teesside. He is the author of The Wars of the Roses (2001), and Late Medieval England, 1399-1509 (2000)

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Table of Contents

1. Texts and Context 2. Yeomanry 3. A Greenwood Far Away 4. Crime, Violence and the Law 5. Religion and the Religious 6. Fellowship and Fraternity 7. Authority and the Social Order 8. History and Memory 9. Farewell to Merry England

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