The Enduring Legend of Robin Hood

Every generation has its own Robin, adapted to fit the needs of the time.

Buckled and swashed: Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood, 1922.

The end of 2018 saw the release of yet another Robin Hood blockbuster film, this time starring the youthful Taron Egerton in the title role. This follows on from Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood of 2010, in which the lead is Russell Crowe, who was more victorious in his battle with the Sheriff of Nottingham than he was in his battle with a Yorkshire accent. This, in turn, was preceded by Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves from 1991.

These major films represent just a small proportion of the Robin Hood output in film and television: since 1950 there has hardly been a year in which no TV programme or film has been made about Robin Hood, Maid Marian, or the Merry Men. Robin has also remained ubiquitous in books, comics, plays – and even pantomimes – to the present day.

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