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Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography Paperback – Oct 23 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (Oct. 23 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780801489921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801489921
  • ASIN: 080148992X
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #923,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"The mythical character of Robin Hood has become an icon through his presence in popular culture for the last 600 years. . . . Knight is extremely knowledgeable about his subject."—Library Journal, 1 June 2003

"Knight valiantly conveys everything said and done about our hero Robin Hood since the last quarter of the 14th century: every ballad, poem, novel, opera, movie and TV series — his Disneyfication and feminization, spoofs, lampoons, muppet and politically correct versions included. . . . Such is the power of myth that this catalogue yokes Robin Hood with Jesus Christ, Buddha, Santa Claus, King Arthur, the Knights Templar, Jesse James, the rural Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, Martin Luther King Jr. and the protean tricksters of North American aboriginal lore. . . . If a 'Hoodie' ye be, thou shalt sally forth to liberate all the copies thou canst."— Chris Scott, Globe and Mail (Toronto), 21 June 2003

"Robin Hood, the outlaw and eternal 'trickster,' is still evolving, having long ago transcended his national and historical origins."—Salon.com, July 2003

"Stephen Knight's book documents the enormous scope of the myth—revolutionary, reactionary, chivalric, homosexual, patriotic, or whatever the audience will allow, even slapstick. A final mythic trait of Robinalia is its ability to parody itself. Errol Flynn defined the character for film: the animated Robin Fox in the Disney cartoon imitates Flynn, and his was the voice, uncredited, of Rabbit Hood in the 1949 Warner Brothers' cartoon. Prince of Thieves was mocked by Princess of Thieves and Prince of Frogs, and so on. Like any great myth, this is a tale that no one ever hears for the first time."—Wendy Doniger, London Review of Books, 22 July 2004

" For those of us who joined the merry-men (and women) of Sherwood Forest when young, Mr. Knight's 'mythic biography' lets us revisit our earlier selves with an enlarged vision of the romance of liberty and equality that attracted us."—Alexandra Mullen, New York Sun, 21 August 2003

"Knight, in a remarkable and witty study of the formation and recreation of a legend, shows that in times of oppression, Robin Hood has always been there for us as resistance to authority. May he ever fight on."—Rob Hardy, Columbus (MS) Commercial Dispatch, 3 September 2003

"Stephen Knight's astute, readable, and thoroughly researched analysis of the whole history of the Robin Hood phenomenon follows the hero from Sherwood bandit to Hollywood star, leader of an all-male band to object of feminist parody, Crusader to puppet frog. This is a book to be read by everyone interested in the growth of the Robin Hood story, and from which future scholars should take their bearings."—Helen Cooper, Oxford University

"Stephen Knight's book about the noble-hearted outlaw has caught the spirit of its subject: fresh, forthright, engaged, witty. It is also richly packed with insights and scholarship. Robin Hood was a hero five hundred years ago; he's still undimmed, a most compelling version of the male hero."—Marina Warner

"Stephen Knight is the premier Robin Hood scholar in the world. Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography sets out the remarkable links and patterns that Knight was the first to trace or call attention to. It makes available all the rich and often surprising details, plots, and themes that increasingly attract writers, visual artists, and those interested in entertainment, children's literature, theatrical traditions, sociology, and folklore."—Thomas Hahn, University of Rochester

About the Author

Stephen Knight is Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University. Arguably the world's foremost authority on Robin Hood, he is the author of Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw and many other books, including several on the outlaw tradition.

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