Robin Hood, the medieval outlaw who has been represented as both common criminal and rustic hero, continues to fascinate and beguile the modern mind. In recent years historians and literary critics have begun to study the legend of Robin Hood, taking as their starting point the earliest known ballads from the 14th century and beyond. Thirteen of the surviving ballad texts are reproduced in this volume, with accompanying commentary and an additional selection of related poems and play extracts. Together they illustrate the development of the Robin Hood myth from his medieval portrayal as a common criminal to the romantic idealization of pre-industrial "merry England" in the nostalgia of the 19th century. The revised edition of this selection of tales brings the reader up to date with the lastest research, and contains appendices on ballad titles, place names and proverbs associated with Robin Hood.