Robin Hood: An Anthology of Scholarship and Criticism

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The texts of the Robin Hood tradition are well known in ballad collections, from that of F.J. Child onwards, and films and television series celebrating the hero are widely watched, but scholarship and criticism dealing with the long and varied tradition of the famous outlaw have proved just as elusive as Robin Hood himself. This first collection of major studies of aspects of the Robin Hood tradition brings together material published in a wide variety of journals, often difficult of access. It demonstrates the many different approaches which have been taken. Some historians explore records in quest of the real Robin Hood, others seek the political meaning of the texts across time; some literary scholars are concerned with origins, structures and generic variations, others look for moral and social significance. The collection as a whole offers a valuable base for further scholarship and criticism on a hero and a tradition that have for over five hundred years has challenged the imagination and defied definition. STEPHEN KNIGHT is Professor of English at the University of Wales at Cardiff; he has written extensively on Robin Hood, and has edited 'Robin Hood: The Forresters Manuscript', the recently discovered seventeenth-century collection of Robin Hood ballads.