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Robin Hood

Robin Hood
Robin Hood, legendary English folk hero and outlaw and champion of the poor, early 19th century. Robin (c1250-c1350)), an expert with the longbow and the quarter-staff, drawing his bow. Little John is at his side. © TopFoto / HIP/TopFoto.co.uk

Everyone's favourite outlaw, Robin Hood is the central character of a whole body of myths and stories that began to be told in medieval times. He is a subversive character, an outlaw living in the forests, who leads a band of companions who have rejected polite society, and hold up well-to-do travellers on the highway, relieving them of a portion of their worldly goods for distribution to the poor and needy.

Robin derives from ancient legendary figures who represented the spirit of springtime rebirth, while his sweetheart Maid Marian had her origins in the traditional festivity of the crowning of the May Queen. Many historians insist he was based on an actual historical person somewhere along the line, and on a privately owned Yorkshire estate there is an overgrown grave, which might just mark his final resting-place...

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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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