Allan-a-Dale Singeth Before Our Good Queen Eleanor

Alan a Dale is a character who found his way into the Robin Hood tradition. Not present in the major early long ballads or the Gest of Robin Hood, he is first mentioned in a seventeenth-century ballad in a story where Robin and the outlaws save a young man’s beloved from being married to an older wealthy man, and in a tricksterish spirit they supervise her marriage to Alan himself. With his ...

Friar Tuck (theme image)

Early Middle Modern Bibliography Be holde wele Frere Tuke Howe he dothe his bowe pluke —Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham(ll. 31-32) Friar Tuck has enjoyed a relatively uncomplicated literary existence within the context of the Robin Hood tradition. His personality may alternate between cheerful and solemn, contemplative and self-absorbed, even glutton...

Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne

Guy of Gisborne is a perennial villain in the Robin Hood tradition.  He first appears in the medieval / early modern ballad "Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne," dated to the final quarter of the fifteenth century.  His most notable medieval characteristic is his unusual costume: he wears a complete horsehide – top, tail, and mane – as a form of armor.  Robin takes...

Robin Hood and Little John

Early Middle Modern Bibliography GENERAL INFORMATION And so ever after, as long as he liv'd, Although he was proper and tall, Yet nevertheless, the truth to express, Still Little John they did him call. —Robin Hood and Little John (c. 1680-85, l. 154-7)   Critical and literary attention has rarely deflected from Robin Hood to land upon Li...

Miss Julian as Maid Marian

1. More than Maid   Marian, often given the containing sobriquet "Maid," is both an intermittent and elusive figure in the Robin Hood myth. She does not appear in the late medieval yeoman ballads or, with one exception, their seventeenth and eighteenth century broadside ballad descendants. She is an initial presence in sixteenth and seventeenth century gentrification, is less certa...

The Four Yeomen Have Merry Sport with a Stout Miller

The Ballad Tradition Early Modern Drama Modern Literature Comics Film and Television Bibliography Much the Miller's Son is a member of Robin Hood's band from the earliest ballads. In modern depictions, Much is often portrayed joining the band after being caught poaching, though the ballads include him as a member of Robin's men without explanation. Early ball...

Robin Hood (theme image)

Early Middle Modern Bibliography GENERAL INFORMATION Robin Hood, Robin Hood Riding through the glen. Robin Hood, Robin Hood With his band of men. Feared by the bad, loved by the good. Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood —The Adventures of Robin Hood (ITV series, 1955-60). Speak the name Robin Hood and immediately an audience will conjure images of the green-clad...

The Sheriff (theme image)

Early Middle Modern Bibliography GENERAL INFORMATION Sheriff, to Robin Hood: "I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!" Guy of Gisborne: "Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?" Sheriff: "Because it's dull, you twit. It'll hurt more." —Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) The sheriff of Nottingham's role in the Ro...

Merry Robin Stops a Stranger in Scarlet

Early Middle Modern Bibliography GENERAL INFORMATION  …Robyn Hode hase many a wilde felow, I tell you in certen... -- Robin Hood and the Monk (179-80) Will Scarlet, also known as Will Scathlock, has long been part of the Robin Hood tradition.  He appears in three of the four earliest surviving ballads that form the core of the tradition: Robin Hood and the...