Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Title: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Author: Roger Lancelyn Green
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 275
Published: 1956
Date Finished: 11 June 2009
My Rating: 4 Stars
Challenges: 100+, Library, New Author, Daring Girls

Another retelling of the Robin Hood Legend. Roger Lancelyn Green's retelling, a bit more modern having been published in 1956, draws heavily upon the old ballads and plays as well as the works of Alfred Noyes, Tenneyson and Scott.
I found this Robin Hood to more closely resemble the Robin Hood that modern pop culture has given us or I guess this might be the Robin Hood the the modern retellings have gained some inspiration. Green's Robin started out as the Earl of Huntingdon who was selling his lands to help the poor until unjustly made an outlaw by the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John. The Earl and his followers take to the forest and become know as Robin Hood and his merry band of followers. Robin openly fights and is not at all weary of killing as he was in Pyle's version of the story. He works to obtain the ransom money that will bring King Richard back to England.
One of the biggest distinctions between Green and Pyle's retelling is Green's inclusion of Maid Marian as a major character. Robin and Marian's wedding was interrupted the Sheriff and Guy of Gisborne coming to arrest Robin. Before fleeing into the forest Robin extracts a promise from Marian that they will remain half married until King Richard can return and marry them. Eventually Marian becomes an outlaw herself and joins Robin Hood in Sherwood as a skilled archer and swordsman. I enjoyed the inclusion of Marian, even if she is a more modern (relatively speaking) addition to the story.
The characters in this version seemed to have a bit more depth to them. The Sheriff and Prince John seemed more evil and Robin seemed more noble and his life in the forest had more purpose than just fun and high jinx. Perhaps, an easier read too, with less of Pyles Old-English style.
Another enjoyable look at the Robin Hood legend. I think next I will read Noyes' play. As Green himself stated, "Robin Hood's is a story that can never die, nor cease to fire the imagination. Like the old fairytales it must be told and told again-for like them it is touched with enchantment and few of us can fail to come under its spell."

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Sounds like a good read, I'll have to look up this version. thanks for the review.