Robin Hood by Stephen Thomas Knight
A Complete Study of the English Outlaw

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Synopsis

This text details and analyzes the phenomenon of Robin Hood, his resistance to authority and how successive ages have interpreted him. The author suggests that in the late Middle Ages, Robin Hood was seen simply as an opponent of centralized law, whilst the Elizabethans recruited him to oppose a corrupt church. During the Restoration he came to personify treason against an annointed king. To Walter Scott, Robin was a Saxon freedom fighter, but to Keats he was a vision of an imaginatively freer time. The Georgian poets found in their hero a symbolic escape from oppressive modernity, while Hollywood, at its most vigorous - and elitist - made Robin Hood a figure of democracy. Knight's study, based on literary and sociocultural research, provides an analytic account of this figure, the English outlaw hero who has symbolized resistance to authority around the world for over 500 years.
 

About Stephen Thomas Knight

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Professor Stephen Knight Teaches in the English Department at the University of Wales at Cardiff.
 
Published October 1, 1994 by Blackwell Pub. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Robin Hood

Publishers Weekly

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Unlike Ulysses or King Arthur, Robin Hood never became an epic hero but, according to Knight, he is the only mythic character who remains truly alive in the popular imagination. The outlaw myth abides

Oct 31 1994 | Read Full Review of Robin Hood: A Complete Study ...

Publishers Weekly

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Common to all Robin Hood tales is rebellion against an authority perceived as improper, but depending on context, the version may pit gallant Saxon against tyrannical Norman, dispossessed nobleman against cruel usurper, religious reformer against corrupt cleric, neo-pastoral swain against urban c...

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London Review of Books

In the 1964 film Robin and the Seven Hoods, when someone compares ‘Robbo’ (Frank Sinatra) to Robin Hood, one of the gangsters asks: ‘Who’s Robin Hood?’ And another replies: ‘Well, he was a hood, some Englishman who lived long ago and had an operation going for him in the forest.

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Crosswalk.com

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Project MUSE

The week this book arrived for review, the popular press and historical websites, which should have known better, announced the discovery of Robin Hood's grave, sadly deprived of its remains since the eighteenth century, but identified through a re-creation of the hero's deathbed firing of an arr...

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Project MUSE

He describes each version of the character in an engaging chapter—"Bold Robin Hood," "Robert, Earl of Huntingdon," "Robin Hood Esquire," and "Robin Hood of Hollywood."

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Project MUSE

In this chapter Knight discusses events in the Robin Hood mythic biography most important to creating an enduring outlaw hero: the 1795 publication of Joseph Ritson's literary life of Robin Hood;

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