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Robin Hood in Greenwood Stood
Alterity and Context in the English Outlaw Tradition

S. Knight (ed.)
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XVIII+234 p., 21 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2011
ISBN: 978-2-503-54054-2
Languages: English
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New studies of the changing meaning of the myth of Robin Hood, from the Middle Ages to the present.

The Robin Hood tradition is a rich assembly of exciting stories, more than five hundred years old and still thriving. From medieval ballads of yeoman resistance and gentrified Renaissance stories of Lord Robin versus bad King John, the tradition survived lustily into modern film, through which Robin Hood, played by major stars like Fairbanks, Flynn, and Costner, has become a truly international hero of natural law. This richly varied tradition enables scholars to study how different periods have understood the concept of Robin’s noble resistance to wrongful authority. These new essays uncover innovative topics like Robin’s relation with the cult of archery in the late Middle Ages, the purpose of the recently discovered 1670s’ Forresters manuscript of outlaw ballads, and what Thomas Love Peacock thought when in 1815 he met in Windsor Forest a man called Little John. Other essays explore the social meanings and contexts of the texts, from the stark early ballads and their contacts with both Catholicism and Protestantism, through to modern excitements like the Kevin Costner film of 1991 and the links between Robin and Batman. Just as the five-hundred-year tradition of the Robin Hood story is alive today, so this collection shows how vital and varied is modern analysis of the myth of the best known and most loved of all the outlaws.

Table of Contents


Alterity, Parody, Habitus: The Formation of the Early Literary Tradition of Robin Hood — STEPHEN KNIGHT

Nietzsche’s Herd and the Individual:The Construction of Alterity in A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode — ALEXANDER L. KAUFMAN

Journeys to the Edge: Self-Identity, Salvation, and Outlaw(ed) Space — LESLEY COOTE

Robin Hood and the Social Context of Late Medieval Archery — JOHN BLOCK FRIEDMAN

Reformist Polemics, Reading Publics, and Unpopular Robin Hood — HELEN PHILLIPS

The Forresters Manuscript:A Book on the Margins? — CARRIE GRIFFIN

Thomas Love Peacock, Robin Hood, and the Enclosure of Windsor Forest — ROB GOSSEDGE

Mouvance, Greenwood, and Gender in The Adventures of Robin Hood and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves — BRIAN J. LEVY AND LESLEY COOTE

Batman and Robin Hood: Hobsbawm’s Outlaw Heroes Past and Present — JOHN CHANDLER

Agamben’s homo sacer, the ‘State of Exception’, and the Modern Robin Hood — VALERIE B. JOHNSON



"The very strength of the modern study of Robin Hood, which Stephen Knight has done so much to forge, is that it is interdisciplinary." (A. J. Pollard, in: The Medieval Review, 13.06.30,

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Comparative & cultural studies through literature
Cultural studies (general & theoretical)
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history
British Isles
Modern History (1501 to the present)
Early modern history (1501-1800) : main subdisciplines
Cultural & intellectual history

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