Robin Hood: The History and Folklore of the English Legend

  • by Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by Jack Chekijian
  • 1 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This audiobook profiles the historic figures who scholars speculate may be the person Robin Hood was based on, and explains the origins and evolution of Robin Hood.
"Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men
Feared by the bad, loved by the good
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood."
- Theme Song from The Adventures of Robin Hood
There are few characters in the English language more iconic than Robin Hood. Emerging out of the ballads of the High Middle Ages and surviving through numerous permutations to the present day, the green-clad archer has become an icon. Today he represents a playful, irreverent, and cunning resistance to corruption and injustice, associated primarily with stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Robin Hood's selfless acts of helping the masses at the expense of himself (by not keeping his treasure) have led to contemporary figures like Bill Gates being called "Modern Day Robin Hoods". And when a British man robbed a bank in 2013 and handed out the money to homeless people before he was arrested and imprisoned, the name Robin Hood was naturally in the news once more.
Robin Hood is a celebrated folk hero and a kind of good thief, but the earliest stories about Robin Hood depict a far different character. The first Robin Hood was often a brutal and selfish yet also honorable figure, an anti-hero loved (perhaps paradoxically) by many social classes and loathed by authorities. When the notorious Gunpowder Plot was discovered at the beginning of the 17th century, the Earl of Salisbury condemned Guy Fawkes and the conspirators for being "Robin Hoods".
The transformation of Robin Hood over the centuries has left many scholars attempting to find the origins behind the original story.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Robin Hood, the folklore and history...

I received this book as a gift in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. This book explores the differences in the legends of Robin Hood and how we portrayed him through out the years. Even in movies Robin Hood has been portrayed in many different ways. While this book isn't the super exciting blockbuster, it is interesting enough to keep my attention. Sometimes history and behaviors really fascinate me.

The author, Charles River Editors did a fine job in their research. The material is original and changes as our world changes (our folklore changes with time too). The narrator, Jack Chekijian did a good job narrating this book and has a well developed voice for narrations.
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- Terri

A real man? From villain to hero? Fascinating!

The legends of Robin Hood arose in Medieval times and were carried forth in the Renaissance and modernized by Hollywood. This book takes us back to the earliest stories of Robin Hood, the changes the tales underwent in the Renaissance, and the enduring traits that have survived into modern retellings.

Here is another educational book from Charles River Editors. I had always assumed that Robin Hood was a fictional legend. However, there may indeed have been a man that the earliest stories were based on. It’s still debated in history circles. In addition, the earliest tales had a much more practical, gruff man at the center. He wasn’t the Lionheart loving, giving to poor hero that we all think of today.

In fact, many of the attributes that modern retellings include didn’t come about until the late Medieval, or early Renaissance time period. For instance, there were no Friars in Medieval England, so the character Friar Tuck obviously didn’t occur in the earliest tales. Also, the Renaissance Tudors felt the need to elevate Robin Hood and managed to ‘research’ a noble lineage for the man.

Indeed, this book was an eye opener for me. Granted, I had never really looked into Robin Hood’s history. I think this book would be great for other folks for have previously only had a passing interest.

The Narration: Once again, Jack Chekijian did a great job. I like that he has the right mix of excitement for the subject and professorial air to keep us all grounded.
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- DabOfDarkness

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-25-2015
  • Publisher: Charles River Editors