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Robin Hood by Jesse Harasta & Charles River Editors

Robin Hood: The History and Folklore of the English Legend - Jesse Harasta, Charles River Editors

The legends of Robin Hood arose in Medieval times and were carried forth in the Renaissance and modernized by Hollywood. This book takes us back to the earliest stories of Robin Hood, the changes the tales underwent in the Renaissance, and the enduring traits that have survived into modern retellings.

Here is another educational book from Charles River Editors. I had always assumed that Robin Hood was a fictional legend. However, there may indeed have been a man that the earliest stories were based on. It’s still debated in history circles. In addition, the earliest tales had a much more practical, gruff man at the center. He wasn’t the Lionheart loving, giving to poor hero that we all think of today.

In fact, many of the attributes that modern retellings include didn’t come about until the late Medieval, or early Renaissance time period. For instance, there were no Friars in Medieval England, so the character Friar Tuck obviously didn’t occur in the earliest tales. Also, the Renaissance Tudors felt the need to elevate Robin Hood and managed to ‘research’ a noble lineage for the man.

Indeed, this book was an eye opener for me. Granted, I had never really looked into Robin Hood’s history. I think this book would be great for other folks for have previously only had a passing interest.

The Narration: Once again, Jack Chekijian did a great job. I like that he has the right mix of excitement for the subject and professorial air to keep us all grounded.