Robin Hood has been 'all things to all men', since he first appeared, speaking to the gentry, the peasants, and all those in between. Now, going back to the original texts, A. J. Pollard uncovers a different set of tales.
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.