Robin Hood the Brute: Representations of the Outlaw in Eighteenth Century Criminal Biography

Stephen Basdeo

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    Abstract

    Eighteenth century criminal biography is a topic that has been explored at length by both crime historians such as Andrea McKenzie and Richard Ward, as well as literary scholars such as Lincoln B. Faller and Hal Gladfelder. Much of these researchers’ work, however, has focused upon the representation of seventeenth and eighteenth century criminals within these narratives. In contrast, this article explores how England’s most famous medieval criminal, Robin Hood, is represented. By giving a commentary upon eighteenth century Robin Hood narratives, this article shows how, at a time of public anxiety surrounding crime, people were less willing to believe in the myth of a good outlaw.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)54-70
    JournalLaw, Crime and History
    Volume6
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Keywords

    • Eighteenth century
    • criminal biography
    • Robin Hood
    • outlaws
    • Alexander Smith
    • Charles Johnson
    • medievalism

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