The Robin Hood tradition is best known in popular forms such as ballad, lyric, play, children's story and, in our own era, television and film. There have, however, also been a significant number of novelists who have devoted themselves to retelling and reshaping the story.
In particular, the nineteenth century provided some classical fictional reformulations of the outlaw saga, in which the hero and his activities were re-interpreted in ways relating to the concerns and values of the period. Robin appears, for instance, as a Gothic adventurer, a romantic hero, a lost heir, a precursor of Baden-Powell, and even as a loyal servant of parliamentary democracy in its alleged origin. The substantial novels that embody these conceptions of the outlaw are little known, and quite unavailable until now.
This collection reprints these nineteenth-century texts and in doing so re-establishes for scholars and readers a largely lost element of the remarkably rich and ever-popular myth.