Historical Books

Here presented is a selection of some of the many books that have contributed towards the overall understanding of the legend. There is more than one edition of most of them. Click on the icon to enlarge.

The Outlaws of Medieval Legend, Maurice Keen, 1961, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, London. This overview of medieval outlaws includes Robin Hood, Hereward the Wake, Fulk Fitzwarin, Eustace the Monk, William Wallace, and Gamelyn. Keen looks at the Robin Hood ballads and their historical background, the historicity of Robin Hood, and other topics as well. A revised edition was published in 1977, a revised paperback in 1987, a hardcover in 1989 and a paperback in 2001. Keen also wrote an article entitled ‘Robin Hood – Peasant or Gentleman’ in Past & Present a journal of historical studies; there are other articles about Robin Hood in the journal (between 1958 and 1961) by authors such as R. H. Hilton, Professor Holt, and T. H. Aston.  


Rymes of Robyn Hood, R.B. Dobson & J. Taylor, 1976, William Heinemann Ltd, London. A good presentation of Robin Hood ballads and plays, and other tales as well, and an excellent introduction to the outlaw of legend.  
  Robin Hood, J.C. Holt, 1982, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London. Still one of the best books available, a comprehensive study of the English Outlaw. A Paperback edition was released in 1983, with a second revised and expanded edition released in paperback in 1989, with a reprint in 1991. A third edition is being released in June 2011.  
  Robin Hood an historical enquiry, John Bellamy, 1985, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana. Some good information concerning Robert Hode of Wakefield (see The Many Robin Hood’s pp. 7-10) and a possible candidate for the real sheriff of Nottingham. Bellamy is one of a number of authors to expand on the theories of Joseph Hunter.  
  Robin Hood a Complete Study of the English Outlaw, Stephen Knight, 1994, Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, UK. Like Holt, Stephen Knight has produced a comprehensive study of the English outlaw, with some newer information.  
  Robin Hood the Man Behind the Myth, Graham Phillips & Martin Keatman, 1995, Michael O’Mara Books Ltd, London. Some interesting information and a look at the possible origins of the real Robin Hood.  
  Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales, Stephen Knight and Thomas Ohlgren, 1997, Medieval Institute Publications. A large work with good insight into Robin Hood and other tales.  
  Imagining Robin Hood, A.J. Pollard, 2004, Routledge, Oxfordshire. The late medieval stories in historical context and other interesting information.   
Robin Hood, the Early Poems, 1465-1560, Texts, Contexts, and Ideology, Thomas H. Ohlgren, Lister M. Matheson, 2007, Rosemont Publishing & Printing Corp. A good modern analysis of the early ballads.   
Robin Hood the True History Behind the Legend, Nigel Cawthorne, 2010, Constable & Robinson Ltd, London. The cover tells us that this work is a brief history of Robin Hood. An enjoyable work on the English outlaw.  
Robin Hood the English Outlaw Unmasked, David Baldwin, 2010, Amberley Publishing. David Baldwin searches for the man behind the myth, and he sees Roger Godberd as a credible candidate. He has used the work of other scholars and researchers, including Robert Lynley and David Hepworth, but he does present some of his own knowledge as well.