Welcome! I know my site has grown rather large - much larger than I originally intended. And while I've tried to give the site a logical layout, it might sometimes be hard to find what you're looking for. So, this area describes what is available on my site.
First, I should point out the several helpful reference tools that exist. The green navigational bar, which you'll find on every page, contains links to every major section of my site. It also links to the subsections of whatever major section you are in. The index page of each section also includes the text links you'll find at the bottom of this page.
Other helpful tools are the Site Map and the Search feature. The Site Map features a list of, and links to, every page on Robin Hood - Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood. The Search utility allows you to perform keyword searches on not only my Robin Hood site, but its sister site dedicated to the tales of Robin Goodfellow (also known as Puck).
Also, further down this page, you'll find the For Students section. This area features an FAQ, where I attempt to answer the frequently asked questions of my site's visitors, particularly students.
Here are the major sections of my site and what you can find on them.
Of course, I'm always looking to expand my website. Please e-mail me if you have any suggestions.
I get asked questions by students (from elementary school, right up to university and college students) on an almost daily basis. Many of them have asked the same questions. It was clearly time for me to add an FAQ (frequently asked questions) list.
Although the title is "For Students", I figure that everyone is a student of life. So, even if you aren't a student, you may find your answers here.
There are a couple of general matters that I'd like to discuss first, however.
Some visitors get annoyed that I refuse to give straightforward answers, or at least answers as straightforward as they'd like. That's because there is rarely one simple answer to a question. The legend of Robin Hood, like most myths and legends, is a bit like a childhood game of 'Telephone' (or 'Chinese Whispers' for those in the UK). Have you ever played the game in class or at summer camp, where one person whispers a message to the next person, who passes it along to the next? When the last person in the class stands up and says the message out loud, it's usually very different from what the first person said. People mishear, or misremember or just paraphrase what they've been told. And that changes things.
But legends are different from such a game. In the game, barring the class prankster, everyone is trying to repeat the same message. But legends are told by storytellers. Generations of people who deliberately change the stories. Why? To make it bigger, more exciting, funnier or just different than the story they first heard. To put their own stamp on the legend, or to explore some previously unexplored aspect. So, what may be a true answer for one Robin Hood children's book may be wrong for another. In some, Robin is a yeoman. In others, he's an earl.
This site is written in Canadian English. This means that usually the spelling closer to the British rather than American standard. It is also written in an informal style, not an academic one. This means that generally I have avoided complex footnotes, although a few sections here do have Works Cited (or "Sources" as I call them) pages. And an informal style also means that I begin sentences with conjunctions and use colloquial expressions when it strikes my fancy. It would not be a good idea to just copy my words and hand them into your teacher.
Not that it would have been a smart idea to plagiarize my site anyway. Most teachers are not morons. They can tell when you are handing in ideas or words that are not your own.
I have created a more streamlined Robin Hood FAQ here
This is the most frequently asked question.
Short answer: Maybe.
Slightly longer answer: There are various records of people named Robin or Robert Hood. Some were outlaws. These real Robin Hoods lived in different places and times. Scholars have widely varying theories as to whether any of them were the inspirations to the legend. Also, some feel that there's a mythological basis to the legend. Others think Robin Hood is entirely fictional. The early ballads do resemble other outlaw stories. Certainly the legend as we know it today is largely fiction. But there still may have been real outlaws that inspired the tales.
Scroll up this page and you'll see a section called "What's Where". It describes each section of my website.
Generally speaking, yes. You can quote from my site.
I guess the first principle behind my answers is "please give credit where credit is due". That can vary depending on how you're using information from my site or how much you're using, but acknowledging my name (Allen W. Wright), site name (Robin Hood -- Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood) and URL (www.boldoutlaw.com) are good guidelines.
I don't mind you quoting or using information from my site within reason. Say your assignment is eight paragraphs - then perhaps quoting one paragraph of my site would be acceptable. Copying and pasting a whole page of mine, however, is not acceptable. I'm more lenient with educational and non-profit uses than commercial uses of my site. However, as long as credit is given, some degree of quoting is acceptable.
Pictures are a murky area. The green side bar lists copyright information and credit. If it's a photo of Nottinghamshire or Yorkshire, it likely belongs to me. If you're using it for a class project or just one or two pictures for your web site, then I don't mind (as long as you give credit). If you're making money off my pictures, well... we'll have to come to some kind of arrangement.
If it's a picture from a film or television show, I'm exploiting that grey area of fair use. In other words, I can't really grant permission to use film or TV pictures. Most studios don't mind non-profit internet use if credit is supplied, but well... it's at your own risk.
Most style guides now have rules for citing electronic sources. Here are a few websites that list the rules and have tools to help you. ONLINE Citation Styles, How to Cite Electronic Sources and NoodleTools (with the NoodleBib starter).
Author credit, except where noted and there are very few exceptions, should go to Allen W. Wright and the top name of this site is Robin Hood - Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood.
My site has hotlink protection to crack down on bandwidth theft. You see, I pay for the bandwidth on this site. I do so in order to educate and entertain people who are interested in the Robin Hood legend. I do not pay money so that dating profiles, blogs, skateboarding and wrestling message boards, or other sites can reproduce my images and then stick me with the bandwidth costs. If you really want to steal one of my images, then at least put it up on your own servers.
Yes, I really do asked these sorts of questions. More often than I'd like. And the answer to most of them is "No. Do your own homework." I don't mind helping a bit, offering the odd suggestion. And if you're doing something unusual, then I'd be happy to discuss it. But if it's information that can be easily obtained on this site, I'm likely to just tell you what page to find the information on. If it's really a "do my homework for me" question, I'll probably just ignore you.
As for sending everything I know in e-mail. This site is now the size of a small book - certainly larger than any school essay. I can only assume that people want me to repeat the information in e-mail because they are lazy or want to pass it off as their own work.
Obviously, you might have missed some things on my site. So, I don't want to say that I will never respond. But I can usually tell which people only read the site far enough to find my e-mail address.
Well, as I said above, this website is written in an informal style. Also, the lack of footnotes make it harder to plagiarize my site. Still, some sections do contain lists of my sources. See the question below.
I get my information from a variety of books and articles. Of course, I also have a large collection of Robin Hood books, films and the like. Also, I attend, and present at, academic conferences on the Robin Hood legend.
Also, my Beginner's Guide section has a list of Recommended Reading and Favourite Films.
All those pages have links to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
This is a subject for debate. Especially among people from Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. In 2004, the debate over which place should be labelled "Robin Hood Country" spilled over into the British Parliament.
The early ballad A Gest of Robyn Hode sets Robin Hood in Barnsdale, in Yorkshire. However, he also visits from Nottingham and steals from that town's sheriff. Sherwood Forest is not mentioned in that ballad, but it is Robin's home in another early ballad Robin Hood and the Monk. There are many early references to the Robin Hood legend being set in Yorkshire, but also many that set the legend in Nottinghamshire. I'd say there's a greater variety of Yorkshire place names - Barnsdale, York, Wakefield, Kirklees, Fountains Abbey, Loxley - associated with the legend. The early Nottinghamshire-based stories usually just mention Sherwood and Nottingham.
Over the centuries, the references to Yorkshire and Barnsdale (Barnesdale) became less common. Also, many works of Robin Hood fiction have used well-known Yorkshire place names, but set their stories in Nottinghamshire.
People from both counties occasionally feel like the other county is stealing their legend. My site's name pays tribute to both the Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire locations of the legend.
I don't get this question too much anymore. But back in the summer of 1999, I was being asked this pretty much every week. At the 1999 Robin Hood conference, Professor Stephen Knight delivered a paper called "The Forest Queen". It was about a 19th century Maid Marian novel with that subtitle. But Prof. Knight included a one-sentence joke about how the title could also refer to Robin Hood's ambiguous sexuality. The media got wind of this and blew the whole thing out of proportion. After all, Prof. Knight doesn't even believe that Robin Hood was real. Still, there are, of course, academics who see gay themes in the legend.
Stephen Knight's comments on Robin's sexuality and his experiences with the media can be found on this website in an article called Gendering Robin Hood.
My name is Allen W. Wright. For a biography on me, click here.
I started this in early 1997. And it began out of necessity. I couldn't find any really good sites that covered the legend as a whole. The only one I knew of was temporarily down. I wanted to be able to share information about the entire legend from the earliest ballads to the latest TV show. I try to cover as broad an area as possible.
As for my qualifications, well ... this site is not officially affiliated with any academic institution. I do know some professors who are quite fond of it though.
I have undergraduate degrees in History, English and Journalism. I have presented papers on Robin Hood at several academic conferences. Also, I have been a reference source on radio and TV documentaries. CBC Radio once claimed I knew everything about Robin Hood. Sadly, that's not quite true. But then I don't think there's anybody who knows "everything" about Robin Hood. There's always more to learn, and that's what makes the legend fun.
Does that make me qualified? Well, that's up for you to decide. I'd hope that you would take whatever anyone says with a grain of salt and check different sources.