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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,…

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