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Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography Paperback – 23 Oct 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (23 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080148992X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801489921
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,122,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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"

"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 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

"


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Format: Hardcover
This is a excentrically fascinating insight into the much known and even more loved 'myth' of Robin Hood, which has been reproduced, perpetuated and glamorised in many manifestations over the decades and centuries. Knight, clearly a devoted fan, if a sceptical believer, provides a informative, yet tongue in cheek account of the way in which the character of 'Robin Hood, and the myth surronding his existance has morphed over time, often reflecting the attitudes, believes and popular media of the times. His style is both complex and clear, taking a refreshingly lay approach to what is essentially an academic work. If you have seen Costner pracing about in his green tights, or laughed at Robinsons 'Maid Marian' and think you know it all, then prepare let Knight prove all you fond preconceptions thoughroughly wrong!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sadly I don not have any views about this book at the moment as I have not read it. But it looks OK.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Development of a Necessary Hero 31 Aug. 2003
By Rob Hardy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Every culture has need for stories about the outlaw hero. Odysseus, in way, was one, as was William Tell, and John Wayne as the Ringo Kid. Jesus's story certainly conforms to the myth of the "good outlaw," and a more contemporary version was Martin Luther King. The figure best known for being a hero and being an outlaw, however, has been with us for over six hundred years: Robin Hood. Now he has an authoritative life story: _Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography_ (Cornell University Press) by Stephen Knight. Knight, a professor of literature at Cardiff University, is an authority on all Robin Hood lore, but does not here restrict himself to the early ballads of Bold Robin. In a witty and universal tour of the legend, he takes in all the Hollywood and television versions, and even the parodies. Most of them stay quite close to the Robin Hood legend as it was formed in its early stages.
The question for any biographer of such a legend always is: "Did he really exist?" There is an eagerness to find a real human being who performed Robin's feats, or at least served as a starting point for the stories. But Knight doubts there was any real figure: "... it seems highly improbable, or at least unprovable, that a Mr. R. Hood ever existed." It is far more likely that the character in the ancient plays and poems "...is the original Robin Hood, real only in the sense that he is the focus of a real myth." The important thing is not the Robin Hood incarnate, but what tellers and audiences made of him. For those who needed monetary relief, he began not only to rob from the rich but to give to the poor. For those who were distressed over corruption, he especially robbed sleazy officials of the state and church. For those needing national or racial identity, he became Saxon against the bad Norman Prince John. In the twentieth century, he raised his bow against (metaphorically) Nazism and McCarthyism.
Robin Hood has been portrayed by Kermit the Frog (whose green made him a natural for the role). In _Time Bandits_ he was John Cleese, stiffly introducing himself: "Hello, I'm Hood," and going on to explain the nature of the poor he is bound to assist: "I'm sure you'll like them. Of course they haven't got two pennies to rub together but that's because they're poor." Robin's outfit received top billing in Mel Brooks's _Robin Hood: Men in Tights_; Knight explains the association of tights to the story thus: they were "originally deployed so that nineteenth-century actresses playing Robin could show their legs." The myth has proved powerful enough to survive much kidding, and not just recently; a 1600 play _Looke About You_, has the unique stage direction "Enter Robin Hood in the Lady Faukenbridge's gowne, night attire on his head." Knight, in a remarkable and witty study of the formation and re-creation 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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hero every age has claimed 9 Oct. 2007
By Bobby Newman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Robin Hood is a cultural icon, one of those stories everyone believes they know. It would surprise causual readers, however, just how much of what we think we know about Robin Hood has changed across the years. Many of the stories surrounding the figure, for example, never discussed stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Stealing from the rich, maybe. Giving to the poor? Not so much. Knight has provided us with thorough scholarship, from the earliest ballads through the hollywood movies and television programs (across several countries). The eye for detail is apparent, right down to the fact that the actor playing "Will Scarlet O'Hara" in the "Men in Tights" send-up later wound up playing Hood himself in a Hercules/Xena type television series. Knight is a man who has done his homework! How and why each era claims Hood for its own, and just how this may or may not have corresponded to any true Robin Hood, if there was such a person, is explored. The book is indispensible for the bookshelf of any Hood fan. My only hope would have been for a bit more discussion of Howard Pyle, a personal favorite retelling.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read of the year 29 Aug. 2016
By Thomas R. Sachse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Engaging, well written; documentation of almost every fact. Deep in depth analysis from four different perspectives and how they evolved, changed, and were influence by history. Best read of the year.
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun read if your into hood 16 April 2016
By Rachel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Could be more historically accurate. Fun read if your into hood.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 Feb. 2015
By JOHN SNIPER - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
AWESOME BOOK IF YOUR A ROBIN HOOD FAN
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