Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Robin Hood Guardian Interview

My search for the real Robin Hood The Guardian newspaper April 2010. Interview including comments by Andy Gaunt

Ridley Scott claims his new film starring Russell Crowe will be the most historically accurate ever. But what do we actually know about the real outlaw and his merrie men?

by Stephen Moss

...'In the cafe, Andy Gaunt, an archaeologist with
Nottingham county council, tells me not to think of medieval Sherwood as just a forest. It was a working community, governed by forest law (a draconian code introduced by William the Conqueror to protect his hunting land). The inhabitants of areas governed by forest law loathed it, and would have been likely to lionise anyone who flouted it. It is easy to see how outlaws became heroes, and common criminals could be confused with freedom fighters.

People were being outlawed all the time," Gaunt says. "It was quite common in medieval times – it was a violent society. The forest was seen as a wild place and after dark it would be pitch black. I wouldn't want to go there on my own (though there are parts of Nottingham I wouldn't want to go on my own now). Robin Hood in the ballads is quite a brutal character, but people didn't seem to worry about that, just as people in the Wild West didn't worry that Billy the Kid was actually a serial murderer."' 

See the full article by clicking on the title or see Stephens profile by clicking on his name.

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