Studies and criticism (festivals)
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-06-28. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-05-06.
The list includes sources discussing festivals in England and/or Scotland in general or in specific historical counties or other similar areas. Sources dealing only with specific localities are found under the localities in question.
- Axon, William E. A. 'Sunday in Lancashire and Cheshire', Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. XXXIII (1881), pp. 43-84, see especially pp. 57-60. Excellent discussion of Robin Hood festivals, morris dancing, and May games. Subsequent pages are devoted to a discussion of Puritan opposition to such pastimes and the "moderating" influence of James I's Book of Sports. Though dated, this paper is still of interest.
- Dobson, R. B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 37-43. Excellent discussion of Robin Hood games.
- Clark, Robert L. A. 'Clark, Robert L. A.; Sponsler, Claire. “Queer Play: The Cultural Work of Crossdressing in Medieval Drama', New Literary History, vol. 28 (1997), pp. 319-44
- Judge, Roy. "'The Old English Morris Dance': Theatrical Morris 1801-1880", Folk Music Journal, vol. 7 (1997), pp. 311-50
- Knight, Stephen. 'Robin Hood and the Royal Restoration', Critical Survey, vol. 5 (1993), pp. 298-312
- Marshall, John. '"goon in-to Bernysdale": The Trail of the Paston Robin Hood Play', Leeds Studies in English, vol. 29 (1998), pp. 185–217
- Marshall, John. '"Comyth in Robyn Hode": Paying and Playing the Outlaw at Croscombe', Leeds Studies in English, vol. 32 (2001), pp. 345-68
- Marshall, John. 'Gathering in the Name of the Outlaw: REED and Robin Hood', in: Douglas, Audrey, ed.; MacLean, Sally-Beth, ed.; Somerset, J.A.B., general ed. REED in Review: Essays in Celebration of the First Twenty-Five Years (Studies in Early English Drama, vol. 8) (Toronto; Buffalo; London, 2006), pp. 65-84
- Marshall, John. 'Riding with Robin Hood: English Pageantry and the Making of a Legend'. In: Costembeys, Marios, ed.; Hamer, Andrew, ed.; Heale, Marti. ed. The Making of the Middle Ages: Liverpool Essays (Liverpool, 2007), pp. 93-117
- Marshall, John. 'Picturing Robin Hood in Early Print and Performance: 1500-1590', in: Potter, Lois, ed.; Calhoun, Joshua, ed. Images of Robin Hood: Medieval to Modern (Newark, 2008), pp. 60-82
- Parkinson, David. 'The Entry of Wealth in the Middle Scots "Crying of ane Playe"', Modern Philology, vol. 93 (1995), pp. 23-36
- Richardson, Christine. 'The Figure of Robin Hood within the Carnival Tradition', Records of Early English Drama Newsletter, vol. 22, No. 2 (1997), pp. 18-24
- Twycross, Meg. 'Two Maid Marians and a Jewess', Medieval English Theatre, vol. 9 (1987), pp. 6-7. Not seen.
- Wasson, John M. 'The St. George and Robin Hood Plays in Devon', Medieval English Theatre, vol. 2 (1980), pp. 66-69
- Wheare, Michael. '"From the Castle Hill they came with violence": The Edinburgh Robin Hood Riots of 1561', in: Potter, Lois, ed.; Calhoun, Joshua, ed. Images of Robin Hood: Medieval to Modern (Newark, 2008), pp. 111-22
- Wiles, David. The Early Plays of Robin Hood (Cambridge, 1981).
- Alford, Violet. Peeps at English Folk-Dances (Peeps Series) (London, 1923); includes, pp. 47-50, section on characters in Robin Hood gamnes as well as illustration of the Betley window which depicts morris dance characters including Maid Marian and Friar Tuck.
- Aspin, Jehoshaphat. Ancient Customs, Sports, and Pastimes of the English (Little Library) (London, 1832), pp. 163-69.
- S., E. 'May Day: Moldekin of the Thirteenth Century', The Antiquary, vol. V (1882), pp. 188-94.
- Warren, Nathan B. The Holidays: Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide; Their Social Festivities, Customs, and Carols (New York; Cambridge, [Massachusetts], 1868). Discusses Robin Hood in connection with mayings and morris dances, pp. 124, 140, 141, 142 & 142 n.
- Fossenius, Mai. Majgren Majträd Majstång: En Etnologisk-Kulturhistorisk Studie (Lund, 1951). The chief focus in this ethnological dissertation on "May branch, May tree, Maypole" is on the still thriving Swedish Midsummer festival, to which May customs were transferred for climatic reasons, but almost half the study is taken up by an investigation into the European origins and development of May customs. Throughout, these festival traditions are seen as being significant to participants rather than as "survivals". One or two generations before this was belatedly realized in English folklore circles, Swedish scholars had become aware that the notion of "pre-Christian" fertility rite" was largely irrelevant, if not necessarily entirely wrong. No doubt the history and "meaning" of these festival traditions seemed particularly important issues to Swedish ethnologists of the first half of the 20th century because such traditions were (are) still very much alive in Sweden. The book has a chiefly continental European focus but also touches on English traditions and evidence. There is, however, no discussion of the Robin Hood tradition. Still the book is well worth reading as it includes the most extensive and thorough discussion of European May traditions available in a book length study. The dissertation is in Swedish, but there is a 33 page summary in German.
- Heaney, Michael. 'The Earliest Reference to the Morris Dance?', Folk Music Journal, vol. 8 (2004), pp. 513-15. On the earliest (15th century) occurrences of the term 'morris dance' in the English language.
- Lach-Szyrma, W.S. 'May Day', The Antiquary, vol. V (1882), pp. 185-88; briefly mentions Maid Marian, p. 187, but mainly of interest for providing information on contemporary May customs.
- Marcus, Leah Sinanoglou. 'Herrick's Hesperides and the "Proclamation made for May"', Studies in Philology, vol. LXXVI (1979), pp. 49-74. On Herrick's use of maying themes and imagery as expressions of royalist ideology. Contains a good deal of information on May games and related festival traditions and paraphernalia in the late medieval to early Stuart period. Brief discussions of Robin Hood mayings, pp. 51, 54.
- Marsh, George L. 'Sources and Analogues of "The Flower and the Leaf". Part I.', Modern Philology, vol. IV (1906), pp. 121-67. Discusses French and Italian literary works that mention May Day customs that alo figure in The Flower and the Leaf and were perhaps adopted by members of the higher social classes in England.
- Marsh, George L. 'Sources and Analogues of "The Flower and the Leaf". Part II.', Modern Philology, vol. IV (1906), pp. 281-327. As preceding, especially on May Day matter and imagery in Chaucer's poetry.
- Warren, Nathan B. The Holidays: Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide; Their Social Festivities, Customs, and Carols (New York; Cambridge, [Massachusetts], 1868); see ch. XII: 'Whitsuntide' (pp. 122-31) and ch. XIII : 'May-Day' (pp. 132-45); sounder than most 19th century writings on the festival customs connected with Whistuntide and May Day; seems mildly sceptical of claims of pre-Christian origins; aware of the often overlooked athletics aspect of spring festivals; aware of the financial importance of church ales to parish economy; realizes that the English morris was a 15th century import.
- Halliwell, James Orchard, compil. A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, Obsolete Phrases, Proverbs, and Ancient Customs, from the Fourteenth Century (London, 1847) (and editions of 1850, 1852, 1852, 1855, 1860, 1865, 1869, 1872, 1874, 1881, 1889, 1904, 1970, 1973), vol. II, p. 537 s.n. Maid Marian: "A popular character in the old morris dance, which was often a man in female clothes, and occasionally a strumpet. Hence the term was sometimes applied with no very flattering intention."
- Jewitt, Llewellynn. 'On Ancient Customs and Sports of the County of Nottingham', The Journal of the British Archæological Association, vol. VIII (1852), pp. 229-40; see pp. 234-35.
- Marsh, George L. 'Sources and Analogues of "The Flower and the Leaf". Part I.', Modern Philology, vol. IV (1906), pp. 121-67; see pp. 151-52 on Robin Hood and May games.
- Marsh, George L. 'Sources and Analogues of "The Flower and the Leaf". Part II.', Modern Philology, vol. IV (1906), pp. 281-327; see p. 299 on the French pastoral couple Robin et Marion.
- Turner, J. Horsfall. The History of Brighouse, Rastrick, and Hipperholme; with Manorial Notes on Coley, Lightcliffe, Northowram, Shelf, Fixby, Clifton and Kirklees (Bingley, Yorkshire, 1893), p. 203.