Latest Issue

Britain’s woodland idol

I was inspired to write a series of books about Robin Hood by dreams of a noble rebel. But I discovered a far more savage and mysterious figure

By Angus Donald   July 2009

What is it about the legend of Robin Hood—or, more properly, the collection of legends surrounding him—that has given this character such an enduring appeal? On the surface, he is an unlikely hero: an outcast, a mugger, a murderer. Yet he is still as popular as ever, popping up in films and on television with astonishing regularity. When I was researching Outlaw, my first book in a series of novels about Robin Hood, I was looking for the hero of my boyhood: the quip-trading, do-gooding gentleman-archer, who stole from the rich only to give the loot to the poor. Instead,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect