Robin Hood is one of the most enduring and well-known figures of English folklore. Yet who was he? In this intriguing book, Lesley Coote re-examines the early tales about Robin in light of the stories, both English and French, that surrounded them – stories with which they shared many elements of form and meaning. In the process, she returns to questions such as `Where did Robin come from?’ and `What did these stories mean?’The Robin who reveals himself is as spiritual as he is he is secular and as much an `insider’ as he is an outlaw. And in the context of current debates about national identity and Britain’s relationship with the wider world, Robin emerges to be as European as he is English – or perhaps, as the author suggests, that is precisely the quality which made him fundamentally English all along.
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