Introduction

Kind gentlemen and yeomen good
Come in and drink with Robin Hood.
If Robin Hood he be agone
Come in and sup with Little John.
- Slogan above the door of the Robin Hood and Little John Inn

Welcome to Sherwood! (and Barnsdale!)

Maybe you first encountered Robin in your childhood, I know I did. Perhaps that daring adventurer in green was rescuing a poacher from cruel foresters. Maybe Robin was ambushing the evil Sheriff of Nottingham or swordfighting with Sir Guy of Gisborne. Maybe it was the tales of Robin's charity, giving money to the poor. There's a lot to like in this legend.

This webpage is dedicated to England's best known outlaw legend.

Robin Hood and the Men of the Greenwood by N.C. Wyeth, 1917 I've been interested in the outlaw since childhood. So I created this ever-expanding page to salute Robin and the Merry Men. On this site, you'll find articles about the historical evolution of the legend, possible real Robin Hoods and other features such as interviews with writers and actors.

The How To Use This Site section provides a brief overview of the major sections of my website.

It took a while to come up with a name for the site. There are two major traditions for where the Robin Hood legend is set. Some ballads take place in Nottinghamshire's Sherwood Forest, just like the modern films and novels. But several ballads are not set in Sherwood, but rather Barnsdale in Yorkshire. There's an intense debate by some locals from Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire as to which county owns the legend. I wanted my site's title to salute both traditions.

So, Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood was an obvious choice of title. But something was missing - there needed to be an adjective in front of Outlaw. For the first few months of the site's existence, it was called Robin Hood - Famed Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood. But it didn't sound quite right. After all, as an outlaw, you could argue that Robin was more infamous than famous.

I needed a new adjective. Jolly didn't feel right, nor did merry. So, I flipped through my Robin Hood ballads. One word kept coming up -- Bold. There are many times when Robin is called "Bold Robin Hood" as if Bold were his first name. It was perfect! The word can mean brave, which Robin certainly is. But it also means the cocksure impudence that is characteristic of Robin Hood. He's bold when he crashes a Norman banquet with a stag on his shoulders. He's bold when he foolishly challenges a stranger to a fight. It's that carefree, spontaneity -- that boldness -- which I love about Robin.

It's clear that others also respond to Robin's boldness, as a couple of other sites have borrowed the title "Bold Outlaw".

Speaking about boldness. I'm not shy about my opinions on Robin Hood. I hope you won't be either. I welcome discussion and debate. So, please post your comments at the Blue Boar Inn for everyone to see. Or e-mail me privately.

If you want to know what Robin Hood films to watch or Robin Hood books to read, there are three sections of my site to help you. The Beginner's Guide offers a Recommended Reading and Favourite Films section that lists some of my favourite versions of the legend. There are pages in both History of Robin Hood and Search for a Real Robin Hood sections that list the sources I used to write those articles.




logo - head Robin Hood statue