Notes Toward Review of Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography

Purpose:  I keep handwritten book journals with notes toward reviews.  I need a new one and haven't purchased it yet. This entry will hold notes until I purchase my new journal.


Quote: "archery is a means of display, not combat" 

In discussion of A Gest of Robyn Hode


Analysis: The bow is for competitions, but in this ballad when Robin fights it's with a sword. This is an important distinction.  In my ROS (Robin of Sherwood) fanfic that I wrote some time ago, I portray both Robin Hoods shown in the series. It's a TV series that originally aired on the BBC. Robin of Loxley was portrayed by Michael Praed.  Robert of Huntingdon was portrayed by Jason Connery. The bow is Robin of Loxley's  weapon. The sword is Robert of Huntingdon's weapon.  The distinction is one of class in my fanfic.  Robin of Loxley is a peasant.  The bow would be primarily for hunting for food which is an outlawed activity contrary to the forest laws.  He is given a sword by Herne which is sacred.  It's not his primary weapon. Robert of Huntingdon is a nobleman who I portray as fighting in tournaments before he becomes Robin Hood.  The sword is his primary weapon. The sword is considered more honorable than the bow by members of his class.  This issue is brought up in my fanfic.  Robert of Huntingdon does use the bow, but has more of an affinity toward the sword because of his upbringing.


Quote: "This is, the poetry reminds us, Robin enjoying his 'downfall'.  It is not, as it often will often be in the nineteenth century, a statement that life au naturel is actually much better than the harassments of ordinary urban society."  In discussion of The Downfall of Robert, Earl of Huntington


Analysis: This Robin Hood makes the best of it like Shakespeare's Prospero on his island in The Tempest who has also been exiled from the halls of power.


Re comparison to 19th century poets--  The 19th century Romantics are in some ways precursors to the theorists who are responsible for the founding of the modern environmental movement.  There is an element of environmentalism in my fanfic interpretation of Robin of Loxley, but not in my portrayal of Robert of Huntingdon who is motivated very differently. 


I think that the ROS spelling "Huntingdon" emphasizes that he's a fictional character who never existed.  The really interesting thing is that David, Earl of Huntingdon, who is portrayed in ROS as Robert's father, was an actual historical personage who was the brother of the King of Scotland. I discovered this when I read The Normans of Scotland which is why I portray Robert as a Norman in my fanfic. I think it's very interesting that  this aristocratic exiled Robin Hood could be considered a member of the Scottish royal house--particularly when you consider the later historical development of Jacobitism which was an attempt to restore the Scottish House of Stuart to the English throne. I enjoy seeing historical continuities.