The legend of Robin Hood has been recorded in all forms of media, including
old texts, literature, criticism, movies, music, plays, and more. This
section attempts to catalogue many of these for you to use.
This is by no means a complete collection of images related to Robin
Hood. Various Robin Hood sites have many different images, so
I recommend you try looking at them as well. These are just a few
random images I've found that other sites aren't likely to have. These
images are, for the most part, scattered throughout my site.
Robin Hood originated in the form of folk tales, but
was later recorded onto paper. The oldest written reference to Robin Hood
is an indirect one, The Vision of Piers Plowman (1378), while
the first direct reference is in a Yorkshire place-name, The Stone of
Robin Hood (1322). The first written work to describe Robin in
thorough detail was A Lytell Geste of Robin Hood (about 1495).
Robin was also in Ivanhoe (1819), a work written by Sir Walter
Scott. A cameo was also made in The Once and Future King
(1958) by T.H. White, when his men led the boys, Wart and Kay, to the witch,
Queen Morgan the Fay. Hundreds or possibly thousands of other works have
also been written about Robin Hood.
Some of these works have been reviewed by contributors to this site. Dr.
Frederick Walker has pioneered the way, sending me a couple reviews of
Robin Hood books which you might find interesting. He reviewed
The Quest for Robin Hood by Jim
Lees and Robin Hood
(2nd ed.) by J.C. Holt.
Dr. Walker came up with the great idea to post book reviews. Have you
read any Robin Hood books and would like to post a review of them here?
Send it to me!
Writes Don Smith:
"Anyway, I saw in your book section you had not listed the Stephen Lawhead book 'Hood' and I thought I would give you a heads up on it.
"It is set just 30 years after the Battle of Hastings in Wales. And in the book he explains, "Take Robin Hood out of Sherwood?"
"His theory was that stories of Robin Hood were told be traveling troubadoors. So names like "Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest" could be "Robin Hood of Cornwall" or "Robin Hood of Oxford". He also explained that a primevil forest that Robin would need to hide in also only existed in Wales at the time. His theory was the Sherwood Forest was actually a plantation by 1200, so clearly people knew their way around the story.
"What Lawhead does in "Hood" that I think is amazing is explains the "haunted" aspect of the forest. He goes into detail to explain how Robin and his men go about turning the forest into a center for ghosts.
"Mostly, Robin or (Rhi Bran as he is known) will dress as a giant raven to scare people. The Welsh locals call him "Hud" (hood) which means Wizard."
I received a very informative e-mail from Stephen Winick, who had
this to say. Please read it!
I'm starting to post some written ballads, stories, etc. for your
perusal. However, sites like the Robin
Hood Project at the University of Rochester do a much more thorough
job of reproducing Robin Hood tales, so check there if that's what you're
looking for. One you might like, that I have here, is
"Robin Hood Rescuing the Three Squires".
Another, found for me by Tyler Vance, is titled
"Robin Hood and the Tanner". Mr. Vance
says, "I found this song on a recording called 'A Medieval Banquet' by St.
George's Canzona directed by John Sothcott. It is a traditional English
folk song." The good people running the Robin Hood Project have reproduced
Hood and the Tanner" at their site. Thanks for sending it, Mr. Vance!
Errol Flynn became
well-known as Robin Hood in the movie "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938).
Douglas Fairbanks plays Robin in the 1922 movie "Robin Hood". Director
Richard Thorpe made "Ivanhoe" in 1952, a remake of the 1913 version. Mel
Brooks has made a satire of poor Robin in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights"
(lyrics to the theme song available),
spoofing Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991). Heck, even
Disney has released an animated version of my favorite historical character,
with "Robin Hood". Robin is played by a fox in this one. Semi-fitting.
Countless other versions have been made about Robin Hood. Follow the
films link at the other sites page to view
By many viewers'
requests, I have been told to post some information about an old TV show,
"Robin of Sherwood". This TV show was made and shown in every place other
than where I lived, I believe, so I never got to see it. *sigh* I am told
it was an *excellent* show, so I suppose I'll start looking for episodes
of it on videotape. The show starred Michael Praed as Robin and Jason
Connery, Sean Connery's son, as Robert. There happens to be a large page
dedicated to this TV show, at
"Robin of Sherwood" page. Check it out -- I'm told the show is worth
watching! I have also heard of an old 1950's show called "The Adventures of
Robin Hood", starring Richard Greene as Robin. Unfortunately, little
information about this show can be found (look at the pics through the link
at the bottom of that page, though; link is on the
other sites page).
You may have heard about this already, but TNT has a Hercules/Xena
clone called "The New Adventures
of Robin Hood, starring Matthew Poretta (remember, Will Scarlet from
"Men in Tights"?). My impressions of this show are mixed. On
one hand, it's good that Robin Hood is getting some exposure to the young
generation, and on the other hand, it's not really all that ground-breaking
a show. You know, the usual. But the cast seems to have a lot of fun and
it's all for entertainment. I suppose the good-looking Robin and the
big-breasted Marion are givens in modern day interpretations of
Robin Hood. Hehe.
Sierra On-Line released a game long ago called "The
Conquests of the Longbow" for IBM, based on Robin Hood, while Nintendo
capitalized on the success of Costner's movie by releasing "Robin Hood:
Prince of Thieves" for the Nintendo. I don't even think these games
are available anymore, so if you want to get them, you'll have to find
them at a garage sale or pawn shop or something.
The most well-known song written recently about Robin
Hood was for the "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" movie soundtrack. This
song was performed by Bryan Adams and is called "(Everything I do) I Do It
For You". Hundreds of ballads and songs are based on the Sherwood tales
and I may post a few in the future.
Bob Wheeler informs me that the Cleveland Public Library (I'm guessing
there's only one) has the largest collection of Robin Hood books in the
world, besides Nottingham, England. Odd, eh? Cleveland?!
If you're interested in
finding some more information about Robin Hood, try looking into the Library
of Congress. Its search utility, LOCIS, is only open from 6:30 AM to 9:30
PM on weekdays, 8 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays, and 8 AM to 4:30 PM on Sundays,
but serves as the BEST place to find any information on literature. In
order to find a complete list of books written about Robin Hood, go to
and fill out the Z39.50 form. I got 128 book titles, so I figured directing
you towards this utility will provide a more up-to-date reference than if I
were to copy all the book titles down.
1) "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves",
2) Disney's "Robin Hood"
3) Poster of "Adventures of Robin Hood", with Errol Flynn
4) "Robin of Sherwood",