Introduction and What's New

What's New Archive (1998-2003)

by Allen W. Wright

With this site's new URL in 2004, I figured it was time for a new What's New page. But for those who want to track the now 20-year history of the site, I created this archive of previous What's New entries.

Return to the Current What's New Page

Aug. 10, 2003:

It's been awhile. But I've made some big updates to the site. In July 2003, I visited Britain once again. Pictures of Barnsdale, Sherwood, Nottingham and other Robin Hood locations have been added to the Picture Gallery and an account of my further travels to Robin Hood Country has been added to the Personal Journey section. I returned to take part in the 4th conference for Robin Hood studies, and that conference is the subject of the latest Spotlight review. Also, a new omnibus edition of Theresa Tomlinson's Forestwife Trilogy has just been released. This website is mentioned in her afterword.

Dec. 24, 2002:

Happy Holidays!  One of the great Christmas traditions is the English stage show called a pantomime or panto.  This month, the spotlight shines on Robin Hood -- The Merry Family Musical , a live show currently on stage at Toronto's Elgin Theatre.

Sept. 18, 2002:

It's been a while in the planning stages, but I've just added an interview with Robin McKinley , author of The Outlaws of Sherwood .  And not so coincidentally, September's spotlight reviews that book.

July 12, 2002:

Another July update.  As a comic collector, I have added two Robin Hood comic book stories from the 1950s to the Robin Hood Tales section of the website.  They are "The Prince and the Poacher" and "Sir Robin Hood" .  I'm crossing my fingers and hoping they are out of copyright, as they appear to be.

July 11, 2002:

Again, I have quietly been making additions to my site.  I have two new interviews -- one with editor/author Jane Yolen and another with Professor Barrie Dobson , one of the key figures in 20th century Robin Hood scholarship.

And I've added two Spotlights for July, both features Robin Hood books that I first read 25 years ago -- the very books that started me on the path to creating this website.

March 1, 2002:

Over the last few weeks, I've been busy adding things to the website.

First, there are two new Spotlights for February and March. February's entry reviews a 1990s Robin Hood play written in the style of 1590s plays by William Shakespeare. And March? This month's Spotlight is the most requested Spotlight of all! Finally, learn why I don't like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner

Also, I've added five ballads to the Robin Hood Tales section. Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham features one version of why Robin Hood was outlawed. Robin Hood's Death offers two versions of Robin being murdered at the hands of his own cousin. Read about Robin's first meeting with two of his most famous Merry Men in Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar (Tuck) and Robin Hood and Allen a Dale. And Robin Hood and the Butcher features two variations of a classic ballad.

Sept. 7, 2001:

I've added a new interview with the real Sheriff of Nottingham. Nottingham City Councillor Joan Casson holds that title for 2001 - 2002, and she spoke with me about the role and responsibilities of the modern sheriff. Check out the interview.

August 25, 2001:

I've just added a fascinating interview with Theresa Tomlinson. Theresa is the author of three young adult novels about Marian -- The Forestwife , Child of the May and The Path of the She-Wolf. She talks about her trilogy and about living in and around lands associated with Robin Hood. Check out the interview .

It's been over a year since the last one, but I've finally added two new Robin Hood Spotlight entries. The August entry covers the classic 16th century play/plays Robin Hood and the Friar and Robin Hood and the Potter . The September entry profiles The Forestwife by Theresa Tomlinson.

July 13, 2001:

It may be a Friday the 13th today, but I think I'm lucky to have an interview with comic book writer Paul Storrie. Paul created the 1998 - 1999 Robyn of Sherwood series, about Robin Hood's daughter, from Caliber Comics, and now he's working on a new series of Robin Hood adventures to be published by Moonstone Books. Check out the interview.

Also, I have moved the now defunct 3rd conference website onto my site.

June 22, 2001:

I've added some pictures of PLS's production of Robin Hood and the Friar to my Picture Gallery. I had some delays in getting approvals, and so the Spotlight will have to wait until mid-July.

June 4, 2001

I actually have updated the site within the last year, but they've been subtle updates. However, I have just returned from the third conference for Robin Hood Studies. The National Post, a Canadian newspaper, quoted me extensively about the conference. And I've got more media gigs to come.

I've updated my Personal Journey and Picture Gallery, with more pictures to follow soon. A new Spotlight (at last!) is just awaiting some photo clearances.

July 1, 2000

I've made a few additions to the website in the past few weeks. I've added a new Spotlight on Richard Kluger's novel The Sheriff of Nottingham . I've added some new pictures to the gallery, and new links to the Legendary Links pages. And I've slightly altered the look of the pages.

But most importantly, I've added a screensaver to my website. The Legend of Robin Hood screensaver features woodcuts of early ballads, illustrations from children's books and pictures of nearly all the major Robin Hoods of film and television.

Oh, and Happy Canada Day, eh?

May 20, 2000:

I've added a new Spotlight of the Month. This one is near and dear to my heart. It not only reviews an academic book on Robin Hood, but it also takes a look at the conference that inspired the book. I was at the conference, and like all the other attendees I have very fond memories of it.

April 11, 2000:

Over the last few weeks I've made a few more updates. I've added some new links. A new Spotlight of the Month is up (it profiles an upcoming Robin Hood play), and most importantly -- I had a cunning plan for Interviews of Sherwood section. I talked with actor/writer Tony Robinson about the Maid Marian and Her Merry Men series that he created and played the sheriff in. He also talks about history, archaeology and his current series Time Team. Oh, and there's a mention or two of one of his other roles -- Baldrick on the Black Adder series. Check it out.

January 7, 2000:

The new look continues. I've also added some new photos to the Picture Gallery and some new links. There is, finally, a new Spotlight of the Month. The Search for a Real Robin Hood page has been very slightly revised. Alfred Noyes' Sherwood has been added to the Robin Hood Tales section. The Beginner's Guide has a Recommended Reading and Favourite Films page. And now several areas of my website have links to Barnes & Noble's online bookstore and's online movie store. If you buy any books or movies off these links I earn a very small finder's fee. (Which doesn't cover the cost of keeping this page up.)

December 30, 1999:

As we head into the new year, you'll notice a new look to these pages. (And it is only a new year -- not a new century or millennium.) You can thank Alison Carter of Copperlily for this. Not only is Alison a very nice person, she's also designed the snazziest Will Scarlet site on the web. I really like the new look.

September 11, 1999:

Professor Stephen Knight, one of the world's leading Robin Hood experts, has very graciously contributed an article to this website. It's called Gendering Robin Hood . It deals with the possible gay themes in the Robin Hood legend and the press coverage of this issue. Informative and funny.

Also, I've added even more pictures of my Robin Hood trip to the picture gallery. These include more trees in Sherwood, more outlaws, and photos from Edwinstowe, the village where Robin and Marian supposedly got married. Even more photos will be added soon.

August 29, 1999:

I've been to Robin Hood Country again! In July of 1999, I took part in the Second International Robin Hood Conference in Nottingham. Read about my experiences (including my thoughts on Robin's supposed homosexuality) in the new Personal Journey section on my Return to Robin Hood Country. I've also added a new section of photos to my Image Gallery , a whole lot of new photos including pictures of Will Scarlet and Little John's graves. And there will be more photos on the way soon!

Also, I've talked to Professor Stephen Knight, the man at the centre of the gay Robin Hood controversy. He'll be writing a piece for me about his thoughts on the subject, the press coverage and the aftermath. (But to spoil a punchline, the suggestions of the possibility of Robin's homosexuality were only one paragraph from a paper on a 19th century novel. The press blew this way out of proportion.)

May 16, 1999:

I've added several things for this month so commonly associated with Robin Hood. I added a new Spotlight entry and updated my links.

More importantly I've added the programme schedule for the 1999 Robin Hood Conference in July. I'll be presenting a paper there. So please check it out.

Also I've added a new sound to both the main page and the Robin Hood Tales section. It's a ballad tune. Enjoy! (Thanks to Linda Troost for sending me this midi file.) I've also changed the sounds on some pages around a bit.

Oh, and I've added my bio and resume to the main Robin Hood page.

This site has also been "approved" by Canada's History Television, and has recently won a Cool Site award from Netscape's Open Directory Project. Thanks!

I will find a new home for the Blue Boar Inn message board. The current one is bedeviled by ads and other annoyances beyond my control. So, expect a change there soon.

January 14, 1999:

Happy New Year! You know, it's still strange for me to write the date "1999" and not think I am writing a science fiction story. It's been a long time since I updated this page. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to get the Spotlight page out on something resembling a monthly basis. This month's spotlight is on Robin Hood Tales, the 1950s comic book series. In October 1998, I delivered a paper on 1950s Robin Hood comics at the SouthEastern Medieval Association's annual conference. I talk about that and more in my updated Personal Journey page. I also added new photos to the Picture Gallery and new links to the Links section. And I've been making a few additions to my Wolfshead Through the Ages section.

Thank you for all the great mail I've received. It really does brighten my day to know that people read, use and like my website.

July 4, 1998:

Well, it's been a while since my last update, but life sometimes bites you on the nose. Anyway, I have the July (no June this year) spotlight which pays tribute to Frank Sinatra's musical gangster comedy Robin and the Seven Hoods. Also, David Hepworth has kindly given me some photos of Robin Hood's grave at Kirklees. They are now available in the Image Gallery.

The Rochester Robin Hood Project link has changed slightly. And I've corrected it on most, if not all, of my pages.

One other tiny thing, the original URL for the main Robin Hood page was While the page still works fine for the old-timers, I would prefer if you linked to the new subdirectory

And that annoying Geocities watermark getting in the way of the text? It wasn't my idea. [Of course, my URL is now]

May 31, 1998:

I've just added a whole new section called Robin Hood Tales . It has five classic ballads, copied from Francis Child's great collection and a Robin and Marian mystery by Clayton Emery.

May 14, 1998:

First, I'd like to say Happy Anniversary to Errol Flynn's The Adventures of Robin Hood which has just turned 60. I've added a spotlight on it.

Most of the Robin Hood ballads are set in May or June. That's when the Robin Hood plays were performed at the May Games. So, I've added a lot of stuff for the month of May. Recent additions include The Quest for a Real Robin Hood (finally!) and an interview with Robin of Sherwood actor Mark Ryan. And if you wait and listen, you'll hear something else I've added.

My 28th birthday was on May 5. I got a movie poster from Errol Flynn's film from my mother, and a carving of Robin Hood and his Merry Men from my dad. (Thanks, mom and dad!)

March 20, 1998:

Well, this page is new for one.

Also, I've added a beginner's guide. I felt many parts of my page were a bit too academic for the casual reader. Perhaps they rely on a knowledge of the legend some visitors won't have. So, The Beginner's Guide to Robin Hood covers the basics of the legend as it is today. I hope you like it.

Finally, I've just won the Emerald Boxing-Glove Arrow Award. Cool!

Recently I did a phone interview with actor Mark Ryan. That will find its way onto the site as soon as I can transcribe it. And I am almost done the long-promised "Real Robin Hood" section.

Note: The search for a real Robin Hood is but a minor part of Robin Hood studies. The character that has delighted us for generations is a literary character. For a more advanced look at how the legend has changed over time, please visit other sections of this website.

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This page is a part of Robin Hood -- Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood