Robin Hood – Man or Myth
Being Nottingham, born and bred I felt it was time to dispel a few of the tales surrounding our local hero. I have no idea what bought this on, probably yet another re-run of the abysmal Kevin Costner version whose only saving grace were the wonderful performances of the late Alan Rickman and Geraldine McEwan. but I digress, first an explanation.
The statement I am about to make gives me an even chance of getting lynched the next time I venture in to the City Centre. The man believed to be Robin was a Wolfshead or Outlaw, Outlaws were also known as hooded men. Maybe he started life as Robin of the Hood or Robin, the Hooded man as one version puts it. Maybe this as even passed down to the present day ‘Hoodies’.
I find it hard to believe that one man, even with accomplices, i.e. The Merry Men could have operated in several counties over a period of roughly four hundred years. I believe that there were many Robins, in different times and different counties. Yorkshire has some very strong Robin Hood connections too.
I have an idea that the Robin Hood Legend probably came about around the same time as the Morte De Arthur, which immortalised King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It might be a little unusual but why not cast an outlaw in the heroic mould, after all it was all about selling romantic ideals about our country.
We all like to think of the underdog as a hero, but in Norman England that would be highly unlikely. Norman justice was swift and sure, I don’t imagine anyone trying to undermine them would have lasted very long. But this is only one man’s opinion, we each have out own beliefs and I wouldn’t try to contradict your own in any way.