Robin Hood

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Few characters resonate as largely in the consciousness of the English as Robin Hood. From clothes of Lincoln Green, to his exploits with bow and arrow and - of course - his puckish tweaking of the nose of authority, his deeds loom down the centuries and are the subject of constant re-imagining on stage, screen and literature.

Whether he was a real figure is a matter of hot dispute. What is beyond doubt is that many of his most famous exploits only appeared in print some centuries after he is supposed to have lived as part of the rich tradition of balladry that thrived in the middle ages.

There are plausible candidates for the 'real' Robin glimpsed in the historical record but many historians consider him to have been a character of legend alone - perhaps a subtle descendent of the mischievous 'green man' figure associated with Britain's pre-Christian past.

Don't tell that to the inhabitants of several towns and cities throughout the country, however. While his association with Nottingham is now almost indelible - and helped by a vigourous tourism and film industry - his association with Yorkshire is strong. The picturesque town of Robin Hood's Bay is said to have been his haunt, while Kirklees Priory lays claim to his burial spot.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 19th February 2012 | © Weird Island 2010-2020
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