The Search for a
Real Robin Hood

Introduction

by Allen W. Wright

An Uncertain Journey

When people first learn that I'm a Robin Hood fan they usually ask the same question -- "Was Robin Hood real?" For centuries, fans and scholars have looked to find if there was a real man behind the legend. And they've found several Robin Hoods, Little Johns and the like.

Finding a real Robin Hood is quite a feather in one's cap. Several books and TV shows have claimed that Robin Hood was most certainly real. But this is sensationalism. We have few facts about any of the historical outlaws named Robin Hood. We aren't even sure that some of them were outlaws. But people manage to create seemingly convincing cases out of one line entries in court records and tonnes of speculation. Usually these arguments end up sounding like those TV specials on Nostradamus or alien visitations narrated by out-of-work Star Trek actors.

Still, even if you won't find the real Robin Hood here, I hope you'll learn many interesting and entertaining things. Just don't forget to take a grain of salt before you proceed.

With that warning out of the way, it's time to look for the real Robin Hood. Or should I say -- Robin Hoods?

Where to go from here:

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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