The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire is an novel by Pyle's book continued the 19th-century trend of portraying Robin Hood as a heroic outlaw who robs the rich to feed the poor; this portrayal. Robin Hood is a legendary heroic outlaw originally depicted in English folklore and .. source book, Ritson gave them the opportunity to recreate Robin Hood in . Recounts the life and adventures of Robin Hood, who, with his band of followers, lived in Sherwood Forest as an outlaw dedicated to fighting tyranny.
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In honor of the new Robin Hood movie out this week, we've compiled a list of our must-read Robin Hood books that offer retellings and unique. A look at the origins of the Robin Hood legend, with recommendations for fictional retellings!. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, an.
As well as ballads, the legend was also transmitted by 'Robin Hood games' or plays that were an important part of the late medieval and early modern May Day festivities. The first record of a Robin Hood game was in in Exeter , but the reference does not indicate how old or widespread this custom was at the time. The Robin Hood games are known to have flourished in the later 15th and 16th centuries.
Written after ,  it contains many of the elements still associated with the legend, from the Nottingham setting to the bitter enmity between Robin and the local sheriff.
The first printed version is A Gest of Robyn Hode c. Other early texts are dramatic pieces, the earliest being the fragmentary Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham  c. These are particularly noteworthy as they show Robin's integration into May Day rituals towards the end of the Middle Ages; Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham , among other points of interest, contains the earliest reference to Friar Tuck.
The plots of neither "the Monk" nor "the Potter" are included in the Gest; and neither is the plot of " Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne ", which is probably at least as old as those two ballads although preserved in a more recent copy. Each of these three ballads survived in a single copy, so it is unclear how much of the medieval legend has survived, and what has survived may not be typical of the medieval legend.
It has been argued that the fact that the surviving ballads were preserved in written form in itself makes it unlikely they were typical; in particular, stories with an interest for the gentry were by this view more likely to be preserved.
The character of Robin in these first texts is rougher edged than in his later incarnations. In "Robin Hood and the Monk", for example, he is shown as quick tempered and violent, assaulting Little John for defeating him in an archery contest; in the same ballad Much the Miller's Son casually kills a 'little page ' in the course of rescuing Robin Hood from prison.
As it happens the next traveller is not poor, but it seems in context that Robin Hood is stating a general policy. The first explicit statement to the effect that Robin Hood habitually robbed from the rich to give the poor can be found in John Stow 's Annales of England , about a century after the publication of the Gest.
That tilleth with his ploughe.
No more ye shall no gode yeman: That walketh by gren-wode shawe;: Ne no knyght ne no squyer: That wol be a gode felawe. Within Robin Hood's band, medieval forms of courtesy rather than modern ideals of equality are generally in evidence. In the early ballad, Robin's men usually kneel before him in strict obedience: The only character to use a quarterstaff in the early ballads is the potter, and Robin Hood does not take to a staff until the 17th-century Robin Hood and Little John.
The political and social assumptions underlying the early Robin Hood ballads have long been controversial. It has been influentially argued by J. Holt that the Robin Hood legend was cultivated in the households of the gentry, and that it would be mistaken to see in him a figure of peasant revolt. He is not a peasant but a yeoman, and his tales make no mention of the complaints of the peasants, such as oppressive taxes.
By the early 15th century at the latest, Robin Hood had become associated with May Day celebrations, with revellers dressing as Robin or as members of his band for the festivities. This was not common throughout England, but in some regions the custom lasted until Elizabethan times, and during the reign of Henry VIII , was briefly popular at court.
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
A complaint of , brought to the Star Chamber , accuses men of acting riotously by coming to a fair as Robin Hood and his men; the accused defended themselves on the grounds that the practice was a long-standing custom to raise money for churches, and they had not acted riotously but peaceably. It is from the association with the May Games that Robin's romantic attachment to Maid Marian or Marion apparently stems.
The earliest preserved script of a Robin Hood play is the fragmentary Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham  This apparently dates to the s and circumstantial evidence suggests it was probably performed at the household of Sir John Paston.
This fragment appears to tell the story of Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne. This includes a dramatic version of the story of Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar and a version of the first part of the story of Robin Hood and the Potter. Neither of these ballads are known to have existed in print at the time, and there is no earlier record known of the "Curtal Friar" story. The publisher describes the text as a ' playe of Robyn Hood, verye proper to be played in Maye games ', but does not seem to be aware that the text actually contains two separate plays.
These plays drew on a variety of sources, including apparently "A Gest of Robin Hood", and were influential in fixing the story of Robin Hood to the period of Richard I. Skelton himself is presented in the play as acting the part of Friar Tuck. Some scholars have conjectured that Skelton may have indeed written a lost Robin Hood play for Henry VIII's court, and that this play may have been one of Munday's sources.
Robin Hood is known to have appeared in a number of other lost and extant Elizabethan plays. Lleweleyn, the last independent Prince of Wales, is presented playing Robin Hood. In it, the character Valentine is banished from Milan and driven out through the forest where he is approached by outlaws who, upon meeting him, desire him as their leader.
They comment, 'By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar, This fellow were a king for our wild faction! When asked about the exiled Duke Senior, the character of Charles says that he is '"already in the forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England'. It is about half finished and writing may have been interrupted by his death in It is Jonson's only pastoral drama, it was written in sophisticated verse and included supernatural action and characters.
The London theatre closure by the Puritans interrupted the portrayal of Robin Hood on the stage. The theatres would reopen with the Restoration in This short play adapts the story of the king's pardon of Robin Hood to refer to the Restoration.
However Robin Hood appeared on the 18th-century stage in various farces and comic operas. With the advent of printing came the Robin Hood broadside ballads.
Exactly when they displaced the oral tradition of Robin Hood ballads is unknown but the process seems to have been completed by the end of the 16th century.
Near the end of the 16th century an unpublished prose life of Robin Hood was written, and included in the Sloane Manuscript.
Largely a paraphrase of the Gest, it also contains material revealing that the author was familiar with early versions of a number of the Robin Hood broadside ballads. However, the Gest was reprinted from time to time throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.
No surviving broadside ballad can be dated with certainty before the 17th century, but during that century, the commercial broadside ballad became the main vehicle for the popular Robin Hood legend. The broadside ballads were fitted to a small repertoire of pre-existing tunes resulting in an increase of "stock formulaic phrases' making them 'repetitive and verbose',  they commonly feature Robin Hood's contests with artisans: Among these ballads is Robin Hood and Little John telling the famous story of the quarter-staff fight between the two outlaws.
Dobson and Taylor wrote, 'More generally the Robin of the broadsides is a much less tragic, less heroic and in the last resort less mature figure than his medieval predecessor'.
The 17th century introduced the minstrel Alan-a-Dale. He first appeared in a 17th-century broadside ballad , and unlike many of the characters thus associated, managed to adhere to the legend.
In the 18th century, the stories began to develop a slightly more farcical vein. From this period there are a number of ballads in which Robin is severely 'drubbed' by a succession of tradesmen including a tanner , a tinker and a ranger. Yet even in these ballads Robin is more than a mere simpleton: The tinker, setting out to capture Robin, only manages to fight with him after he has been cheated out of his money and the arrest warrant he is carrying.
In Robin Hood's Golden Prize , Robin disguises himself as a friar and cheats two priests out of their cash. Even when Robin is defeated, he usually tricks his foe into letting him sound his horn, summoning the Merry Men to his aid. When his enemies do not fall for this ruse, he persuades them to drink with him instead see Robin Hood's Delight.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Robin Hood ballads were mostly sold in "Garlands" of 16 to 24 Robin Hood ballads; these were crudely printed chap books aimed at the poor. The garlands added nothing to the substance of the legend but ensured that it continued after the decline of the single broadside ballad.
In Thomas Percy bishop of Dromore published Reliques of Ancient English Poetry , including ballads from the 17th-century Percy Folio manuscript which had not previously been printed, most notably Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne which is generally regarded as in substance a genuine late medieval ballad.
A collection of all the Ancient Poems Songs and Ballads now extant, relative to that celebrated Outlaw. The only significant omission was Robin Hood and the Monk which would eventually be printed in Ritson's interpretation of Robin Hood was also influential, having influenced the modern concept of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor as it exists today. In his preface to the collection Ritson assembled an account of Robin Hood's life from the various sources available to him, and concluded that Robin Hood was born in around , and thus had been active in the reign of Richard I.
He thought that Robin was of aristocratic extraction, with at least 'some pretension' to the title of Earl of Huntingdon, that he was born in an unlocated Nottinghamshire village of Locksley and that his original name was Robert Fitzooth. Ritson gave the date of Robin Hood's death as 18 November , when he would have been around 87 years old. In copious and informative notes Ritson defends every point of his version of Robin Hood's life.
Nevertheless, Dobson and Taylor credit Ritson with having 'an incalculable effect in promoting the still continuing quest for the man behind the myth', and note that his work remains an 'indispensable handbook to the outlaw legend even now'. Ritson's friend Walter Scott used Ritson's anthology collection as a source for his picture of Robin Hood in Ivanhoe , written in , which did much to shape the modern legend. In the 19th century the Robin Hood legend was first specifically adapted for children.
Children's editions of the garlands were produced and in a children's edition of Ritson's Robin Hood collection. Children's Robin Hood novels began to appear. It is not that children did not read Robin Hood stories before, but this is the first appearance of a Robin Hood literature specifically aimed at them.
Egan made Robin Hood of noble birth but raised by the forestor Gilbert Hood. Nevertheless, the adventures are still more local than national in scope: These developments are part of the 20th-century Robin Hood myth. Pyle's Robin Hood is a yeoman and not an aristocrat.
The idea of Robin Hood as a high-minded Saxon fighting Norman lords also originates in the 19th century. In this last work in particular, the modern Robin Hood—'King of Outlaws and prince of good fellows! The 20th century grafted still further details on to the original legends.
The film, The Adventures of Robin Hood , starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland , portrayed Robin as a hero on a national scale, leading the oppressed Saxons in revolt against their Norman overlords while Richard the Lionheart fought in the Crusades; this movie established itself so definitively that many studios resorted to movies about his son invented for that purpose rather than compete with the image of this one.
In , during the McCarthy era , the Republican members of the Indiana Textbook Commission called for a ban of Robin Hood from all Indiana school books for promoting communism because he stole from the rich to give to the poor. In the animated Disney film, Robin Hood , the title character is portrayed as an anthropomorphic fox voiced by Brian Bedford. Years before Robin Hood had even entered production, Disney had considered doing a project on Reynard the Fox. However, due to concerns that Reynard was unsuitable as a hero, animator Ken Anderson adapted some elements from Reynard into Robin Hood , thus making the title character a fox.
The British-American film Robin and Marian , starring Sean Connery as Robin Hood and Audrey Hepburn as Maid Marian, portrays the figures in later years after Robin has returned from service with Richard the Lionheart in a foreign crusade and Marian has gone into seclusion in a nunnery. This is the first in popular culture to portray King Richard as less than perfect.
Later versions of the story have followed suit: The movie version Robin Hood , did not include a Saracen character.
The character Azeem in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was originally called Nasir, until a crew member who had worked on Robin of Sherwood pointed out that the Nasir character was not part of the original legend and was created for the show Robin of Sherwood. The name was immediately changed to Azeem to avoid any potential copyright issues.
The historicity of Robin Hood has been debated for centuries. A difficulty with any such historical research is that Robert was a very common given name in medieval England , and 'Robin' or Robyn , was its very common diminutive , especially in the 13th century;  it is a French hypocorism ,  already mentioned in the Roman de Renart in the 12th century. The surname Hood or Hude, Hode, etc. It is therefore unsurprising that medieval records mention a number of people called 'Robert Hood' or 'Robin Hood', some of whom are known to have fallen foul of the law.
The earliest recorded example, in connection with May games in Somerset , dates from The oldest references to Robin Hood are not historical records, or even ballads recounting his exploits, but hints and allusions found in various works.
From onward, the names 'Robinhood', 'Robehod' or 'Robbehod' occur in the rolls of several English Justices as nicknames or descriptions of malefactors. The majority of these references date from the late 13th century. Between and , there are at least eight references to 'Rabunhod' in various regions across England, from Berkshire in the south to York in the north. Leaving aside the reference to the "rhymes" of Robin Hood in Piers Plowman in the s,   the first mention of a quasi-historical Robin Hood is given in Andrew of Wyntoun 's Orygynale Chronicle , written in about The following lines occur with little contextualisation under the year The next notice is a statement in the Scotichronicon , composed by John of Fordun between and , and revised by Walter Bower in about Among Bower's many interpolations is a passage that directly refers to Robin.
It is inserted after Fordun's account of the defeat of Simon de Montfort and the punishment of his adherents. Robin is represented as a fighter for de Montfort's cause. The word translated here as "murderer" is the Latin sicarius literally "dagger-man" , from the Latin sica for "dagger". Bower goes on to tell a story about Robin Hood in which he refuses to flee from his enemies while hearing Mass in the greenwood, and then gains a surprise victory over them, apparently as a reward for his piety.
Another reference, discovered by Julian Luxford in , appears in the margin of the " Polychronicon " in the Eton College library.
Written around the year by a monk in Latin, it says:. In a petition presented to Parliament in , the name is used to describe an itinerant felon.
The petition cites one Piers Venables of Aston, Derbyshire , "who having no liflode, ne sufficeante of goodes, gadered and assembled unto him many misdoers, beynge of his clothynge, and, in manere of insurrection, wente into the wodes in that countrie, like as it hadde be Robyn Hude and his meyne.
In , jurist Edward Coke described Robin Hood as a historical figure who had operated in the reign of King Richard I around Yorkshire; he interpreted the contemporary term "roberdsmen" outlaws as meaning followers of Robin Hood. The earliest known legal records mentioning a person called Robin Hood Robert Hod are from , found in the York Assizes , when that person's goods, worth 32 shillings and 6 pence, were confiscated and he became an outlaw.
Robert Hod owed the money to St Peter's in York. The following year, he was called "Hobbehod". Robert Hod of York is the only early Robin Hood known to have been an outlaw.
Owen in floated the idea that Robin Hood might be identified with an outlawed Robert Hood, or Hod, or Hobbehod, all apparently the same man, referred to in nine successive Yorkshire Pipe Rolls between and Historian Oscar de Ville discusses the career of John Deyville and his brother Robert, along with their kinsmen Jocelin and Adam, during the Second Barons' War , specifically their activities after the Battle of Evesham.
John Deyville was granted authority by the faction led by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester over York Castle and the Northern Forests during the war in which they sought refuge after Evesham. John, along with his relatives, led the remaining rebel faction on the Isle of Ely following the Dictum of Kenilworth.
While John was eventually pardoned and continued his career until , his kinsmen are no longer mentioned by historical records after the events surrounding their resistance at Ely, and de Ville speculates that Robert remained an outlaw. The last of these is suggested to be the inspiration for Robin Hood's second name as opposed to the more common theory of a head covering.
Although de Ville does not explicitly connect John and Robert Deyville to Robin Hood, he discusses these parallels in detail and suggests that they formed prototypes for this ideal of heroic outlawry during the tumultuous reign of Henry III's grandson and Edward I's son, Edward II of England.
David Baldwin identifies Robin Hood with the historical outlaw Roger Godberd , who was a die-hard supporter of Simon de Montfort , which would place Robin Hood around the s. John Maddicott has called Godberd "that prototype Robin Hood". The antiquarian Joseph Hunter — believed that Robin Hood had inhabited the forests of Yorkshire during the early decades of the fourteenth century.
Hunter pointed to two men whom, believing them to be the same person, he identified with the legendary outlaw:.
Hunter developed a fairly detailed theory implying that Robert Hood had been an adherent of the rebel Earl of Lancaster , who was defeated by Edward II at the Battle of Boroughbridge in According to this theory, Robert Hood was thereafter pardoned and employed as a bodyguard by King Edward, and in consequence he appears in the court roll under the name of "Robyn Hode".
Hunter's theory has long been recognised to have serious problems, one of the most serious being that recent research has shown that Hunter's Robyn Hood had been employed by the king before he appeared in the court roll, thus casting doubt on this Robyn Hood's supposed earlier career as outlaw and rebel.
It has long been suggested, notably by John Maddicott , that "Robin Hood" was a stock alias used by thieves. There is at present little or no scholarly support for the view that tales of Robin Hood have stemmed from mythology or folklore, from fairies or other mythological origins, any such associations being regarded as later development. While the outlaw often shows great skill in archery, swordplay and disguise, his feats are no more exaggerated than those of characters in other ballads, such as Kinmont Willie , which were based on historical events.
Robin Hood has also been claimed for the pagan witch-cult supposed by Margaret Murray to have existed in medieval Europe, and his anti-clericalism and Marianism interpreted in this light. The early ballads link Robin Hood to identifiable real places.
In popular culture, Robin Hood and his band of "merry men" are portrayed as living in Sherwood Forest , in Nottinghamshire. Notably, the Lincoln Cathedral Manuscript , which is the first officially recorded Robin Hood song dating from approximately , makes an explicit reference to the outlaw that states that "Robyn hode in scherewode stod.
His chronicle entry reads:. Mary in the village of Edwinstowe and most famously of all, the Major Oak also located at the village of Edwinstowe. Dendrologists have contradicted this claim by estimating the tree's true age at around eight hundred years; it would have been relatively a sapling in Robin's time, at best. Nottinghamshire's claim to Robin Hood's heritage is disputed, with Yorkists staking a claim to the outlaw.
In demonstrating Yorkshire's Robin Hood heritage, the historian J. Holt drew attention to the fact that although Sherwood Forest is mentioned in Robin Hood and the Monk , there is little information about the topography of the region, and thus suggested that Robin Hood was drawn to Nottinghamshire through his interactions with the city's sheriff. Robin Hood's Yorkshire origins are generally accepted by professional historians. A tradition dating back at least to the end of the 16th century gives Robin Hood's birthplace as Loxley , Sheffield , in South Yorkshire.
The original Robin Hood ballads, which originate from the fifteenth century, set events in the medieval forest of Barnsdale. Barnsdale was a wooded area covering an expanse of no more than thirty square miles, ranging six miles from north to south, with the River Went at Wentbridge near Pontefract forming its northern boundary and the villages of Skelbrooke and Hampole forming the southernmost region.
From east to west the forest extended about five miles, from Askern on the east to Badsworth in the west. During the medieval age Wentbridge was sometimes locally referred to by the name of Barnsdale because it was the predominant settlement in the forest. And, while Wentbridge is not directly named in A Gest of Robyn Hode , the poem does appear to make a cryptic reference to the locality by depicting a poor knight explaining to Robin Hood that he 'went at a bridge' where there was wrestling'.
The Gest makes a specific reference to the Saylis at Wentbridge. Credit is due to the nineteenth-century antiquarian Joseph Hunter , who correctly identified the site of the Saylis.
The Saylis is recorded as having contributed towards the aid that was granted to Edward III in —47 for the knighting of the Black Prince. An acre of landholding is listed within a glebe terrier of relating to Kirk Smeaton , which later came to be called "Sailes Close". Taylor indicate that such evidence of continuity makes it virtually certain that the Saylis that was so well known to Robin Hood is preserved today as "Sayles Plantation".
One final locality in the forest of Barnsdale that is associated with Robin Hood is the village of Campsall. Davis indicates that there is only one church dedicated to Mary Magdalene within what one might reasonably consider to have been the medieval forest of Barnsdale, and that is the church at Campsall.
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The church was built in the late eleventh century by Robert de Lacy, the 2nd Baron of Pontefract. The backdrop of Saint Mary's Abbey at York plays a central role in the Gest as the poor knight who Robin aids owes money to the abbot. At Kirklees Priory in Yorkshire stands an alleged grave with a spurious inscription, which relates to Robin Hood. The fifteenth-century ballads relate that before he died, Robin told Little John where to bury him.
He shot an arrow from the Priory window, and where the arrow landed was to be the site of his grave. The Gest states that the Prioress was a relative of Robin's. Robin was ill and staying at the Priory where the Prioress was supposedly caring for him.
However, she betrayed him, his health worsened, and he eventually died there. The inscription on the grave reads,. Despite the unconventional spelling, the verse is in Modern English , not the Middle English of the thirteenth century.
Illustrated Robin Hood
The date is also incorrectly formatted—using the Roman calendar , "24 kal Decembris" would be the twenty-third day before the beginning of December, that is, 8 November. The tomb probably dates from the late eighteenth century. The grave with the inscription is within sight of the ruins of the Kirklees Priory, behind the Three Nuns pub in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.
Though local folklore suggests that Robin is buried in the grounds of Kirklees Priory , this theory has now largely been abandoned by professional historians. A more recent theory  proposes that Robin Hood died at Kirkby, Pontefract.
Drayton's Poly-Olbion Song 28 67—70 composed in speaks of Robin Hood's death and clearly states that the outlaw died at 'Kirkby'.
The location is approximately three miles from the site of Robin's robberies at the now famous Saylis. All Saints' Church had a priory hospital attached to it. The Tudor historian Richard Grafton stated that the prioress who murdered Robin Hood buried the outlaw beside the road,.
Where he had used to rob and spoyle those that passed that way All Saints' Church at Kirkby, modern Pontefract, which was located approximately three miles from the site of Robin Hood's robberies at the Saylis, accurately matches Richard Grafton's description because a road ran directly from Wentbridge to the hospital at Kirkby.
In the end, Robin and his men are pardoned by King Richard the Lionheart and his band are incorporated into the king's retinue, much to the dismay of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Development and significance[ edit ] Pyle had been submitting illustrated poems and fairy tales to New York publications since , and had met with success. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood was the first novel he attempted.
He took his material from Middle Age ballads and wove them into a cohesive story, altering them for coherence and the tastes of his child audience. He needed a cooperative priest for the wedding of outlaw Allan a Dale Pyle's spelling of the original Alan-a-Dale to his sweetheart Ellen.
In the original " A Gest of Robyn Hode ", the life is saved of an anonymous wrestler who had won a bout but was likely to be murdered because he was a stranger. Pyle adapted it and gave the wrestler the identity of David of Doncaster , one of Robin's band in the story " Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow ".
In his novelistic treatment of the tales, Pyle thus developed several characters who had been mentioned in only one ballad, such as David of Doncaster or Arthur a Bland.
Pyle's book continued the 19th-century trend of portraying Robin Hood as a heroic outlaw who robs the rich to feed the poor; this portrayal contrasts with the Robin Hood of the ballads, where the protagonist is an out-and-out crook, whose crimes are motivated by personal gain rather than politics or a desire to help others.
Pyle has Robin kill only one man, who shoots at him first. Tales are changed in which Robin steals all that an ambushed traveler carried, such as the late 18th-century ballad " Robin Hood and the Bishop of Hereford ", so that the victim keeps a third and another third is dedicated to the poor.Instead, a defiant Rob dares his Horned God to reinterpret the ancient rites, allow Rob to take Gamelyn as lover instead of rival.
This page was last edited on 3 May , at The Sheriff has a plan. For that age group, the middle school readers, this is the perfect overview of the Legend of Robin Hood.
Additionally, elements within the ballads and poems, such as the color green Robin Hood typically wore, are linked to other mythic figures such as Robin Goodfellowe.
Neil Smith has done a great job of presenting the myth and legend. Read this for my Robin Hood module, as with Ivanhoe. I recommend to all. The two men jousted in the past at a tourney. The Robin Hood legend is great.