I debated for a time whether I should even write a real Robin Hood page.
Most arguments for real Robin Hoods aren't that well-developed. I didn't want to foster excessive faith in a real Robin Hood.
I don't think we should pin Robin Hood down to one man, even if this was possible. Robin Hood has survived because writers keep reinventing him. They slot him into new times and different situations. If we knew there was one historical Robin, writers might not be so imaginative where they take the outlaw hero.
Also, finding a real Robin Hood might take some of the mystique out of the character. Now Robin Hood is whoever we want him to be. Would the magic be gone if we knew Robin was just a horse thief or a cruel murderer instead of a Saxon freedom fighter? I think it might.
But as a comic book once observed, mysteries are things to be shared. It's fun to delve into obscure corners of history looking for legendary wolfsheads. I think lots of intriguing things are mentioned in these Real Robin Hood pages. You can learn lots of other stuff by asking "who was Robin Hood?"
So, the quest for a real Robin Hood may be a quest worth embarking on. Just as long we never do finish our quest with a final, undisputed answer.
Text copyright, © Allen W. Wright, 1997 - 2009.