Robin Hood : The English Outlaw Unmasked, Paperback Book

Robin Hood : The English Outlaw Unmasked Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The identity of Robin Hood is one of the great historical mysteries of English history - until now.

Everyone has heard of Robin Hood, the brilliant archer who 'robbed the rich to give to the poor' and who always triumphed over the forces of evil, but the man behind the legend is as mysterious as King Arthur.

There were outlaws who lived in the royal forests preying on unwary travelers, and Robin Hoods whose names are recorded in historical documents: but no one has been able to prove that one of these real Robins was the individual whose exploits were commemorated in ballad and song.

David Baldwin sets out to find the real Robin Hood, looking for clues in the earliest ballads and in official and legal documents of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

His search takes him to the troubled reign of King Henry III, his conclusions turn history on its head and David Baldwin reveals the name of the man who inspired the tales of Robin Hood.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages, 116 Illustrations, unspecified
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9781445602813

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This book is a careful exploration of the historical Robin Hood, though it does draw on the popular ballads that circulated about him in comparing the lives of real people that may have inspired the legends to the events of the ballads. It's less conclusive than the blurb would suggest, which makes it better: as someone who's studied Robin Hood, although from the point of view of the literature, I don't think it's possible to pin him down so precisely. But it's certainly possible to examine historical figures who possibly contributed to the legends, and that's what this book does.<br/><br/>I'm baffled by the other review which says that Baldwin spends too much time talking about the possible reigns in which the Robin Hood legends could have come into being and proliferated. If you're looking for the historical origin of the mythic figure, that's what you have to do, and if you want the reader to understand your conclusions based on that research, you have to include it in the book.<br/><br/>It's a very readable book, with a section of full-colour illustrations and photographs, and a section of black and white drawings as well. While it doesn't <I>solve</i> the mystery, it illuminates some very real possibilities.

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