M Hofferber Books



Imagining Robin Hood
The Late Medieval Stories In Historical Context
by A. J. Pollard
 
Robin Hood was ever as popular in England as he is now, judging by the earliest surviving tales from the fifteenth century. Over time he has transformed into the popular hero we know today; the dispossessed earl, outlawed in the woods with his band of merry men; a skilled archer living by highway robbery and poaching. 

Now, going back to the original texts, A. J. Pollard uncovers a different set of tales. Their hero is an outlaw indeed, but he does not rob from the rich to give to the poor. There is no Friar Tuck. There is no Maid Marion. And Robin Hood himself is not an earl, he is a plain yeoman. 
This compelling new study presents the earliest stories of Robin Hood afresh, and throws light on what he meant to the society that produced those tales. 

Robin Hood was a yeoman hero, champion of justice; "Everyone knows the story of Robin Hood." But do we? Just what exactly was a 'yeoman', and what did this mean to 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 violent crime? On the other hand, did he actually steal from the rich at all? 

To find out, A. J. Pollard takes us back to the earliest surviving stories, the fifteenth century texts and ballads. Set in the economic, social and political context of the time, the legend of Robin Hood is illuminated as never before. 

Robin Hood has been 'all things to all men', since he first appeared, speaking to the gentry, the peasants, and all those in between. Representing the English nation's subversive relationship with authority, the multifaceted legend has become the country's most enduringly popular hero. 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.

Imagining Robin Hood
Imagining Robin Hood
The Late Medieval Stories In Historical Context
by A. J. Pollard
Routledge, 2004.
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