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Criticism

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-07-15. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-05-21.

This page lists works in literary criticism and cultural studies dealing with the Robin Hood tradition.

Essential

Significant

Dated yet interesting

Other criticism

Dixon-Kennedy, Mike. The Robin Hood Handbook: The Outlaw in History, Myth and Legend (Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2006). This book consists of four parts, three appendices and a bibliography. The first part, 'The Legends of Robin Hood and his Merry Men' (pp. 3-112) consists of 402 numbered paragraphs which the compiler thinks together perhaps give "the most complete version of the legendary life of Robin Hood".[1] The sources are the half dozen earliest ballads and "a plethora of other literature, both ancient and modern".[2] The identity of the modern sources is not revealed and no source references are given for any of the 402 paragraphs. The body of the work presents a synthetic narrative whose usefulness is severely compromised because its relationship to its sources is entirely opaque. It is much to be regretted that the compiler did not chose to include source references. Part two, 'An A–Z of People and Places' (pp. 115-228) would have been a very useful encyclopedia of the Robin Hood tradition if source references had been added for each entry. All sorts of minor characters are given their own entries, but we are never (or only incidentally) told in which source(s) they figure, so readers without extensive knowledge of the tradition have no way of knowing which of the characters and incidents treated in the encyclopedia are found in, say, nineteenth century children's books and which are from late medieval ballads. Part three, 'Source Texts' (pp. 231-403), consists of the texts of 21 Robin Hood ballads, the ballad of Robyn and Gandeleyn, and a wordlist. The manner in which they were edited is entirely opaque. Three useful appendixes consist of maps, a chronology, and a film list.

Notes

  1. Dixon-Kennedy (2006), p. 3.
  2. Ibid.