You know I'm watching the Robin Hood series on Netflix? You know the ones from BBC?
To say that I'm enjoying them would be a lie, I'm absolutely loving them and I guess it helps that Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood) and Lucy Griffiths (Lady Marian) have me totally captivated.
Nicholas loves it too, the minute the theme song comes on he is running into my bedroom and crawling in bed with me to watch it. "I love his bow and arrow" he tells me. So do I babe, so do I!
But the questions have come up. I'm sick with a cold and so is Nicholas, so while cuddled in bed yesterday watching the Robin Hood Season 2 disc, he started asking me things like:
- Is Robin Hood real?
- Where did he come from?
- Did he really exist?
- How did he die?
- IS he dead?
Things that I honestly have no answer to, I mean, as long as I can remember I've just known about Robin Hood, it's pretty much a world known thing right? Right??
So I figured, to find out if the Legend is true or just a myth, why not go on the internet and see what we can find? You with me? I'm sure you'll find it interesting and I'll even throw in a recipe for Snickerdoodles at the end of the post, just to sweeten your tooth *snicker*
What I've learned is that there has been speculation through the centuries as to who he was, but his identity remains unknown. No one could provide authentic records of his activities, but five of the oldest surviving poems or ballads as they are now called, tell us about the legend of this English outlaw.
Robin Hood has been associated with two different regions from a very early date; Barnsdale north of Doncaster in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. Though I always thought of him as being from Sherwood Forest.
Sherwood Forest was a royal forest, deep and inaccessible. It was frequented by hunters and poachers, and over the centuries, has been a hiding place for outlaws. Once a hunting ground for the kings and queens of England, 'Shire Wood' covered a large area of the county of Nottinghamshire, stretching twenty miles from Nottingham north to Worksop, and it was over eight miles wide. Today little remains of this once great forest, which has been ruined by exploitation of the area. There is a scattering of woodland and heathland, which is the last refuge for ancient and decaying oaks. The Major Oak near Edwinstowe attracts thousands of visitors each year.
This giant tree, with a waistline of 35 ft, a height of 52 feet and weighing an estimated 23 tons, has been here for about 800-1000 years. The exact age of this magnificent tree can only be estimated. Its huge size is a clue, and yet at the same time as some oaks grow faster than others, the enormous trunk conceals the real answer.
Legend has it that once upon a time Robin Hood hid from his enemies inside the hollow of the Major Oak
Robin's a reckless lad sometimes. He'll sneak into Nottingham once too often and get caught by the sheriff. Or he'll pick a fight with the wrong traveller. And when the going gets rough, Robin blows three great blasts on his horn. That's when his Merry Men appear.
Maid Marian (local legend has it that Robin and Marian were married in St. Mary's church in the village of Edwinstowe)
Friar Tuck - (It's said Tuck comes from Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire or Fountaindale in Nottinghamshire)
Will Scarlet - (Some legends say he was killed by the sheriff's men, here is the unmarked grave)
Much the Miller's Son
Alan a Dale
Now I absolutely LOVE Maid Marian or Lady Marian.
I went to Wikipedia to see what I could find and this is what it says:
Maid Marian (short for maiden) usually named Lady Marian Fitzwalter of Leaford (first mentioned c.1200-1400), is the female companion to the legendary figure Robin Hood. Stemming from another, older tradition, she became associated with Robin Hood only in the sixteenth century.
Even cloistered away in Nottingham, she acts as a spy, passing information to the rogues in Sherwood. The sheriff only suspects her ties to Robin Hood. And in a time when women were forced into unwanted marriages, Marian chose to love Robin.
As you can see there is so much out there to read, I guess it all comes down to what you want to believe, did Robin Hood really exist or is it just a myth, a fairy tale passed down from generation to generation?
I thought it would be fun to post some photos of places mentioned in the tv series.
Locksley in Yorkshire
The Third Crusade
And now I'm off to go lay down a bit, I have my little boy with me, so we'll probably pop in another Robin Hood disc, or just take a nap, who knows.