Friday, May 26, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | In which I impress you all with my extensive knowledge of history.

Hello, my pretties!  I remembered that I did a presentation on Robin Hood for school back in 2015, and so I decided that I might as well turn it into a post, right?  Quick and easy, and it changes things up a bit. :)

Basically, I'll just copy my final draft, which discusses some of the (very scanty) historical background for the Robin Hood legend.


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The name of Robin Hood has been calling to mind dusty books, bows and arrows, ballads, greenwood trees, and suits of Lincoln green for over six centuries. The notorious “righteous robber” legend has captivated audiences through song, literature, movies, and even television series.

The earliest mentions of Robin Hood are found in medieval ballads and festivals, and he rose to cultural prominence mainly as a result of Sir Walter Scott’s 1820 novel Ivanhoe, which featured Robin of Locksley as an important secondary character, and Howard Pyle’s book, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, which was published in 1883.


It is unknown whether an individual called Robin Hood ever existed. Historians speculate that the popular image of Robin of Locksley may have come about through the amalgamation of various folkloric entities, and while the legend has changed—in some ways drastically—since the earliest ballads mentioning Robin Hood, most renditions have a common theme in that Hood is supposed to have been an English yeoman, Crusader, or outlaw in the medieval time period.

Surprisingly, popularly beloved cohorts of Hood’s, such as Maid Marian, Allan-a-Dale, and Friar Tuck, did not appear in the initial records—and neither did his famous mantra of “robbing the rich to feed the poor.” Instead, they gained a spot in the story of Robin Hood centuries after its first appearances. Also, despite the fact that many of us were probably first exposed to Hood through Disney’s happy, humorous, and popular animated classic, many of the older, more traditional renditions of the tale end in a bittersweet tragedy. However, other characters and themes that most of us “love to hate”—including the Sherriff of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gisborne—were attached to Hood practically from the beginning, as was his believed locale in Sherwood Forest in the shire of Nottingham, England. 


Confirmed evidence for the elusive Outlaw of Sherwood is frustratingly scarce, but whatever the strict historical facts, the idea of a forest-dwelling, altruistic outlaw boasts an almost unprecedented appeal to worldwide audiences. The subject of over fifty film and television adaptations, the legend of Robin Hood and his Merry Men continues to this day to be one of the most enduring tales in popular culture.

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Hope you all enjoyed that!  Don't forget to leave links to your own RH posts HERE.  :D

16 comments:

  1. Awesome! Thank you for this, you definitely know a lot more about Robin Hood. Just now I accedentally typed "Robing Hood" do you think that has something to do with it? That is was then shortened to "Robin' Hood" and finally Robin Hood? I'm just speculating here. :)

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    1. Thank YOU! Haha, it's funny you mention that, because I've actually wondered about that, myself! Like, considering how he's connected with "robbing from the rich," I feel like it's really plausible that maybe his name started out as something like "Robbing Hood." Pure speculation, of course, but it seems likely. :D

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    2. Whoops! I just realized that I said "Robing Hood" I meant "Robbing Hood". Those pesky double letters!

      Yeah! I mean, it is what he does. :)

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  2. This was an awesome post, Olivia! Very interesting indeed. Thanks for impressing us with your "extensive knowledge of history." ;) Oh, and I just have to say, you wrote really good papers for school! (I was never very good at that myself, coughcough)

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    1. Thank you, Miss March! Hehehe, I had fun with the title. ;) Awwwwwww, thanks! *blushes* That's so sweet of you.

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  3. Wow, Olivia--this is impressive!!! I can tell you did thorough research in order to write this, and it's excellent quality. It really is :-)

    (Okay this is where I go off into history-student mode. I hope you don't mind :-P)

    The first thing that comes to mind when I read this is: The fact that these place names and people names (Sherwood Forest, Nottingham, Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff of Nottingham, etc.) are so very SPECIFIC, even from the very beginning of the legend, suggests that it's probably based on at least a little bit of historical fact. Also, the fact that it's traditionally got a sad ending, not a happy one . . . I think a completely mythical story wouldn't get quite so specific about *which* authority figures Robin was going up against; and also, a completely mythical tale is more likely to have a "Hollywood ending." Which this doesn't.

    Am I making sense here? Basically, it seems probable to me that there was a real outlaw named Robin Somebody (or not) who clashed in some way with the local leadership and was eventually killed, and later remembered in legend as a hero. (Which he may well have been, of course--even if he didn't do all the usual Robin Hood things, that's not to say he wasn't a hero in some smaller or more prosaic way.)

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . I do love history . . . thanks for giving me an opportunity to muse over it, friend! <3

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    1. *blushes* Thanks, Jessica!! That means a lot, especially since you know so much about history! I mean, shucks, you're headed for a Ph.D., right?

      (Haha, nope, I don't -- I was actually low-key wondering if you'd have any other information/thoughts on it all, hehe.)

      YES! That's what I'm thinking. (Not perhaps so coherently or specifically, but I know what you mean. ;))

      "Even if he didn't do all the usual Robin Hood things, that's not to say he wasn't a hero in some smaller or more prosaic way." << YAAASSS.

      You're most welcome! I like your musings. :)

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  4. I have to agree with Miss March - you wrote amazing papers for school!!! :) This would make such a fascinating topic to research!!! *scurries away to Google*

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    1. Awwww. *blushes* Thanks, Kayla! (Also, I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but your name is really pretty. <3) Haha, "*scurries away to Google*" -- I like the way you think, girl. ;)

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    2. Well, thank you!! It's not even fake!!! *grins*

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  5. I LOVE THIS. You wrote it all so well and reminded me yet again of how much I need to read Ivanhoe....maybe I can do it this summer. :)

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    1. THANKS, NATALIE! :D *hugs* (And yaaaaaaasss, read Ivanhoe! I mean, it's a bit *ahem* dry in parts, and I may kind of *cough cough* skim some of the longer bits, but I STILL LOVE THE STORY SO MUCH AND REBECCA AND BOIS-GUILBERT AND ROWENA AND WAMBA AND JUST YES.)

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    2. I WILL I WILL I PROMISE I JUST DON'T KNOW WHEN. :D

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  6. I AM impressed. :D

    And basically, I heard the same thing. (Also I'm curious - the way you wrote it feels very similar to the way we were trained to write essays. May I ask if you ever did any Creative Writing? (We did, and we used Andrew Pudewa who is from "Institute in the Excellence of Writing", and is American).)
    ANYWHO. I heartily enjoyed reading this. :D

    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Haha! "Thank you, thank you very much." ;D

      (That's so funny! I did use the IEW format in a co-op a number of years ago! And then had similar, albeit less strict, teaching in writing later on. So yes, a lot of my writing is probably very influenced by IEW! I don't really like to admit that, though, hehe, because I didn't really like IEW. I'm assuming it's the same system you used, so you may have done this, too, but for our papers, we had this checklist of things we were and were not supposed to do for EACH PAPER and I hated it. My mom said -- and I agree -- that it kind of "squashed my creativity." Haha. :) But that was just me, and I've heard otherwise that it's an excellent program!)

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    2. Yes, I did that!! The checklist is a bit of a killer, (especially as you progress through the levels and it just gets bigger and bigger), I will admit. And I do understand about it 'squashing your creativity' - I struggled with really getting the paper to sound how *I* wanted it to sound when there were so many rules, but I have to say, it DID improve my writing.

      ...and it DOES sound impressive, as you just proved. ;D

      ~Miss Meg

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