There are many versions of Robin Hood’s story that have been on the big screen. Today we’ll chat with historian Dr. Sean McGlynn about the 1991 classic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
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Dan LeFebvre: Before we dive into some details about the legend of Robin hood from an overall perspective of the movie, what did you think about Robin hood, Prince of thieves
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:02:00] As an historian, I tend to have a day off work. When I watch films like this often for this podcast, of course, I just try to enjoy the films for they are, so I’m not looking like this towards the brave half or elsewhere to find a vast room, vast room that best is wrong. I just watched the film to enjoy.
If it were a documentary, then there’d be a different thing, but that’s an adventure film. I think it was enjoyable.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:02:31] That’s a great perspective to take them and kind of take a day off and just enjoy it for entertainment.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:02:36] Yes.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:02:40] Very good. Well let’s put you back on the clock here cause I do want to dive into some of the details. I like to start with the idea of Robin, of Loxley abandoning his honest ways to become an outline. I’ll kind of set up the context, the way the movie explains it. That happens in the movie. Robin returns home from being imprisoned and guy of Gibbons soldiers chase down a young boy for killing one of Prince John’s deer.
Basically, we get the idea that hunting is illegal and they’re willing to kill a young boy for hunting a deer. And then Robin returns to Locksley castle with Morgan Freeman’s character Azeem, and he finds that it’s burned and his family’s hung after his father is charged for devil worship. Their servant kind of explains all this Dunkin, and he says that it was done by guy of Gisbon and the sheriff of Nottingham after they took all of Locke’s sleaze land.
So that was kind of how the movie explains why. Locksley turned from his honest ways and kind of went into becoming outlawed. Do we know if any of that was accurate?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:03:50] To be honest, the thing about Robin hood, a mythical legendary is based on a real life character, but all these interpretations and versions of problems, especially lights. Thinking centuries after the Robin hood legend took root in medieval England, so the locks of the edge and comes from for centuries afterwards, which is an enormous amount of time.
And basically by this stage, old Robin hood and the men are stock characters, which writers can use their creative output. So the Locksley story, nobility owning the land and everything is entirely fictitious and made up nearly half a millennium later. It’s much more likely that Robin hood, if he existed as such, was going to be a career professional fee.
So the locksmith story is entirely fabricated. It’s just based on conjecture. No hard facts whatsoever.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:04:51] Was Locksley a real place though that they based it on, or was that just all completely fictional?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:04:57] Yes, there’s a Locksley and Yorkshire, but there’s also lots of different countries, so we can’t even identify place.
That’s something we’ll probably come back to later. I’ll share with forest as well as the, this was setting. So yes, it’s a placement test. That’s all they have really. Some playwright in that around 1600 says, you know, this is about the out of hundred general. Mostly fast becomes popular because they’re original for a popular audience, the printing press and the rest of it.
These become then established in the readership and in play, and that’s what show makers tend to for ice pod. So
Dan LeFebvre: [00:05:43] that will kind of segue into another major thing that we’re all familiar with as far as Robin hood is concerned. And again, the movie explains this part of it where basically he’s stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. In this version of the legend. We see Robin and Azeem, of course, they’re trying to cross a river and Sherwood forest and they get stopped by a band of Outlaws.
As some of these names we’re familiar with, from the legend of Robin hood will Scarlet much, uh, little John or John Little. We kind of get both versions of that there. And then we see Robin hood. Kevin Cosmo’s version of Robin hood joins their band of Outlaws and he says something to the effect of, uh, I think it was like a man defending his home is better than 10 hired soldiers.
But then as soon after, this is when we start to see what we’re all familiar with Robin hood stealing from rich folks passing through Sherwood forest. And giving them to the poor villagers who then start praising the name of Robin hood. How about that part of the Robin hood legend? Was there any reality to Robin hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor like we see in the movie.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:07:00] There is actually envy very early stories. And if we go to the earliest ballot tells us survives by Robertson STEM from about 1450 and thereafter the furniture in it. But the very last line of the big balance test of Robinhood is the very last line says, and he did pull men much good. That’s what we have for that stage, and that’s the earliest reference to it.
But in 1521 a Scottish chronicler called John major talks about a Robin hood, and this were John who wrote the rich to help the poor. So by 1521 it’s actually about in a cornucopia, as if it’s fact. The first reference to it and 1450 isn’t about it. You know? Artistic creation. Um, and there’s just a brief refresher to it.
So there is an end of a trip. But when you think about it, if you are an outcome, you might want to buy the Goodwill and the allegiance of the local population to keep silent. And so they don’t inform, you say, where you hide them out to the authorities. And it is interesting how many criminals, even basketball and others recent times are known as Robin hood in their area.
And they have all these financial schemes to help the poor and people around them. So it makes sense.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:08:21] That does make sense. I hadn’t thought about it that way of just, it’s in the movie and in Robin hood legend kind of overall. I’ve always got the impression that he’s doing it because he’s, he’s a good guy, right? Even though he’s an outlaw, he’s always cast as the good guy, and so he’s, he’s given to the poor because.
Even, I guess Robin of Loxley was anything but poor, but we kind of get the sense that he’s a man of the people and, and that aspect. But I hadn’t thought about. That it makes sense from an Outlaws perspective to have somebody on your side and the people, it’s not gonna be the law
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:08:57] and you all
keep quiet about these things as the same thing.
But the original Robinhood from surviving earnest material is a middle class here. He’s one of the yeomanry classes, and there’s discussions quite convincing that he was designed to be a middle class here for merchants and ostracize and the light. Who rather fed up with Knights and the new ability gives you all the glory and the light in front of Tom rock, shining armor on his horse, rescuing the damsel.
A lot of those surefire Keller elements are placed earlier, lower down the social scale into the middle classes. So the owner, this boat makes sense from that perspective as well. So is it a middle-class, outdoor food you’d like? He might be considered a white collar criminal,
Dan LeFebvre: [00:09:56] perhaps. Well, I’m curious about kind of the other side of this story now because rather than from Robin Hood’s perspective, at least as far as the movie is concerned, we start to very quickly get the sense that the bad guys are those in charge.
I mentioned them earlier, especially guy Gisbon and the sheriff of Nottingham, and we see this war kind of start to get personal between the two, especially between the sheriff and Robin hood. And I know we’re talking about Robin hood, Prince of thieves today, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another big part of this plot that we see in a lot of Robin hood movies, and that is Prince John himself, who in a lot of those other versions of the story, we get a sense he’s doing this in an attempt to overthrow King Richard.
Is always off at the crusades. You know, he’s never there. He’s always off during these stories. Yeah, exactly. And I know in Prince of thieves, Prince John isn’t actually in there, but there is a brief mention where we kind of get the same idea that King Richard is away, and he does show up at the end of the movie, but so we know that he’s away and we get the idea that they’re following a similar storyline.
Can you explain. That side of it was King Richard really away from England. And was there an essentially an attempt to kind of take over his throne, or how was this between Robin hood and the sheriff of nodding him and Prince John and all of these different storylines that we see, what was going on there?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:11:22] Well, so the film is set in 1194 so at that time it’s got its facts basically. Right. Or written has been away on crusade and he’s been imprisoned on his way back when he’s sick. Correct. I’m Prince John is trying to take over the throne. He carries out a coupe and Richard’s absence. So Robin Marion, who’s the cousin of regrets into line high in the film, they’re trying to say to frame the rifle King Richard so that the King Richard Prince is right there.
Probably discuss later. Was it the timing of 1194 is rifle? No. Legend is a different matter. Fat comes through from, again, from the , the squash, and the early 16th century. This is when it took place, but that doesn’t hold historical reasoning for a number of, um, arguments. On the case of sheriff of nothing of the point sheriff was that there was no number until 1453 centuries after when the film takes place.
At the time, there was a high sheriff of nothing and fit and Darvish here, but not an actual sheriff. So that kind of ms is a anachronistic aspect of the Russell Crowe film does a similar thing, doesn’t it? If you’ve seen it, it places this Richard being away and Prince George trying to take over the throne.
So that element is accurate. If you want to place Robin hood in that time, but it’s just a size, it doesn’t matter whether it, Robin hood should be paced as early as the end of nineties. Again, this is something that comes from basically a Chronicle from the 16th century.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:13:07] It sounds like they’re kind of mixing and matching a lot of different timelines from history.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:13:12] Yes, absolutely. I have no problems that really, because the Robin hood is an entertainment and the stories as they develop over the centuries were adapted for their own time and for different audiences to make them relevant and fresh in the film. They’re changing things from definitely.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:13:30] Interesting. Now, one of the things that really kind of struck me as I was watching this version of the story in Prince of thieves.
Was Robin Hood’s hide out in Sherwood forest. Didn’t really seem like much of a hideout at all. It looked a lot like a village. Like you have permanent looking homes and the elaborate array of bridges that were spanning trees go from building to building. It must have taken quite some time to put together.
And we, you know, we see this huge party, Owen, Marianne comes to visit Robin hood for the first time. There’s this huge, you know, fires and dancing and festivities, and it’s like the exact opposite of what I would expect at a hideout. Right? You’re trying to hide out, and yet they’re having this huge party.
What. Of that or is there anything we know about Outlaws in Sherwood forest hiding out? I’m just curious how close to reality a hideout like we see in the movie would be
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:14:31] a secret. And you say about this massive camp, when the coast, the attack, they camp, it becomes all for a task and he doesn’t have to probably go swimming around on ropes all over the place. Um, you’ve picked up on a couple of them. The smoke, the fires would be seeing. You know, motion cooking, all that venison stolen, you know, although Foxconn per se, also in the winter, the foliage isn’t going to be there.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:14:58] Yeah.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:14:59] That’s going to expose them. Now in the original gestural Robin hood, they do talk a one foot of Robin going to his house and farce makes it sound obviously like confronted fixed point. But there are problems with the actual location of , the lessons being automatic associated there, but problem not have had and it’s been, or any outlaw would not have had one central camp because it’d be too easily discovered.
Um, the other factors in the early fashion century showed forth even as much larger than it is simply too small to hide a large band of Outlaws. The whole forest could be traversed in one day. So that’s not a large area. And the, the just always talks about there being 140 men in his band of Outlaws, so they’re not going to be able to hide for easy.
And also thinking about it as well. On a practical level, if you a robber and you’ve been set up somewhere in a forest where you’re going to attack people at the time, people are going to avoid it. And if we can’t use the same places to attack people, the authorities are going to be able to find you easily as well.
So it doesn’t make sense for that to be one point Stanford creative posts. Isn’t that Phil, it being so iconic that maybe just have a camp that if you compare something like the movements of Jesse James in the 19th century, he traveled across normous amounts of territory to avoid capture. What do you need me to do, Robin hood, and it’s meant to be in one place.
It’d be sitting ducks basically,
Dan LeFebvre: [00:16:35] and I didn’t even mention this, but one part that really kind of stuck with me again when I was watching the movie was, you know, there’s this hideout. And then the, the servant Dunkin who has been blinded, he manages to find this hideout somehow. I mean, I guess it’s his horse that really finds it, but this whole time it’s like, wait a minute.
This blind servant, basically his horse leads him to the hideout. But the sheriff can’t find it. They have to. They have to follow him
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:17:06] to turn a blind eye to these things.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:17:09] I love that. That’s great. Now, another key plot point, and this is a kind of talked about this briefly when I mentioned Marianne coming to the camp, but just the whole relationship between Robin of Loxley and made Marion. Is there any truth to the relationship that we see between those two
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:17:27] and the earliest stories, and always go back to the earliest texts and fortune 50 and 15th century, because after that, they’re just literally reinterpretations and make, Marin does not appear in any of the earliest tails if she does not appear until about 15 1509 in the literature.
So there are only three original Merryman from the first stories, and that’s just for John will, Scarlet of the make Marin, it appears in 1508 to nine and this may have something to possibly to do with the clarity of the festival. The may day celebrations thanks to the forest and the light, and then flick is all around England.
When may day was celebrated. And became the custom for Robin hood quotation marks to be celebrated or crown the King and for maid Marion to be crowned the queen. So the two tend to come together in those may gangs. And it’s like many of the characters. It’s very possible that made, Marian had her own tradition of around separate stories before Robin hood.
So you might have these stories about Robin hood and you might have these stories about maid Marian and then they come together.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:18:49] Oh, like completely. She would have almost completely separate. Stories that then over time kind of merged together through the stories that what you’re saying?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:18:57] Yes. It’s very possible and it’s very possible that little John in the original story is this with John Robin, who actually, he’s.
Um, I’m from tuck, possibly has the same frustration as well. In my book, I like to give injures, you know, Avengers assemble. This is 1963 where you have people like full on the whole come together for them, come together, join forces. They’ve all had their separate story. Two different before that. Well, the justice legals, Superman, DC comics, but these own individual cows have their own stories and then that brought together to form a new type of cactus.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:19:40] That’s exactly what I was thinking of it, you know? I mean, of course today we have all these superheroes that come together, so we’re very familiar with that. I like that you use that example there to pull them all together. Yes.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:19:50] I think that’s what is basically happening here. You have poppers, characters, and then you make them more popular by bringing all one together and see how they interact.
That seems to be what’s happening here. So what we seeing today, the movie franchise, when DC comics, Marvel comics and whatever, this centuries old tradition,
Dan LeFebvre: [00:20:10] basically, there’s nothing new under the sun.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:20:13] Absolutely. Totally.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:20:15] Now, there were some characters in Prince of thieves that I don’t remember seeing in other Robin hood movies, and one of them in particular was more Tiana who is a witch that don’t really remember.
Much in other Robin hood stories, having this evidence of witchcraft and devil worship that like we, like I mentioned earlier, one of the things that supposedly Robin’s father was accused of devil worship, and that was kind of the excuse that they had for. Taking over his land. Was there any evidence of this witchcraft and devil worship angle that we see in prints of these
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:20:52] middle ages were superstitious,
but the idea of devil worship and that it could be used. I mean, in the 15th century, a famous Nobel lady accused of witchcraft. I was prosecuted for it. So there are elements because the church is brought in and the church comes out badly in the film as it doesn’t be original openers, stories, heresy, which I picked up on as one as the devil worship.
So radical subjects. And at this time, there wasn’t any notable heresy in England. There was a small outbreak a bit in the 1116 outbreak, uh, and it was stamped out thoroughly because
of these heretics at that time where we think early versions of the CAFA heretics that were persecuted in the and crusade, but it’s brought in again, it’s dramatic license. Just, no, but I was actually quite interested in, now you’ve raised the point I’m just thinking is that other medieval outdoor stories of the time and around the time do have no flow or fantastical elements like super human beings, supernatural creatures, which crossed and the light.
They do have an actual Robin hood. Stories are quite different in that they have none of that at all.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:22:21] Interesting.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:22:22] Actually, it’s the opposite in the Robin hood twice, whereas other medieval outlawed stories didn’t contain things.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:22:29] Interesting. Yeah. That it’s almost the opposite of, again, going back to the superhero stories where you used to, now they are.
They’re just filled with those. I’m curious, I guess just to kind of throw it, throw another one out there for some of these other stories that do have the more supernatural elements to them. Are they also stories of collected heroes, like the stories of Robin hood?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:22:47] Again, this is an interesting point in when it fascinates me.
Yeah, I, I’ll write about it in the book. He loved the characters of these apples often most pop based on real pimp, and then they type these real people and then they put them in fantastical situations. Um, well last note as you’ve seen it, but Lincoln park in or something like that.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:23:09] Oh yes, I’ve seen that.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:23:13] I can only imagine what that’s about.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:23:15] It’s in the title. It’s exactly what it’s about.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:23:19] That’s what they do with this other room. Left couch. It’s like we used just a monk. If I can use just the Moncrief. Fantastic. Really interesting character. He’s reporter’s going off devil worshiping the rest of it, but it wasn’t a real ass cat and that’s the point.
But in Robin hood, there’s none of those. Mr Columbus towards much more down to earth and probable. And in fact, the main storyline in the first brutal moment history just of Robin hood, it’s quite adult about money lending and about paying back money.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:24:03] Yeah, that is really interesting. This is something else I wanted to ask you about is a concept that we really see very prominently in Prince of thieves and it is in some of the other stories as well, and that is centered around Christian Slater’s character in the movie will Scarlet.
Throughout the entire movie. He’s never really fond of Robin who kind of joins the band of Outlaws later. But then after we see the sheriff of Nottingham capture will Scarlet. He agrees to spy for the sheriff and lure Robyn into a trap. Did any of Robin Hood’s men betray him like this? Like we see in the movie.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:24:40] No, nothing in the original stories. We’ll garnish is a brave and loyal follower of Robin book. Um, he doesn’t have a speaking pod B still packs bravely infesting you the tail ends with, we’ll come back to this, I think perhaps later Robin’s death. He’s betrayed by a female cousin, and that leased is actual death.
We don’t see in the film.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:25:07] Yeah, that’s, that’s not, that’s definitely not in this version of the movie. In fact, I don’t really remember it. And many of the other. Film adaptations of the story. In fact, I don’t really remember much of Robin hood having a family. Usually it’s, he’s on his own now, and that’s part of the reason why he’s turned.
Yeah. Another, another common trope that I seen a lot of Robin hood movies I want to ask about is Robin hood always comes to the rescue and he always comes to the rescue of, there’s this consistent theme, and that’s why I’m curious about it because it’s a theme that I seen a lot of the Robin hood movies as well as in Prince of thieves.
Robin hood comes to the rescue of people right before they’re hanged. And in doing so, he shoots the rope, right? And in this case, it’s a little John’s son Wolf who’s being hanged. But in other versions of the story and other film adaptations, it’s other people being hanged. But it’s almost always somebody being paying for something and he comes and shoots the rope.
How accurate is the idea that Robin hood rescues people from execution?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:26:24] The original stories is that it’s quite a feature of the original story, so he goes and rescues not necessarily from the gallows, from prisons in Nottingham, close to it, and Robert, who is rescued as well by this one, John, some others, early stories.
I’ll just say again in the film, they make it excited as possible. The last possible moment. But it’s also a feature in other medieval out in hotels as well. The last minutes, rescue of comrades from the gallows in terms of public executes at the time, some executions were stopped when the public protested about them to start chanting or sauteing to let the condemn mango and the authorities mash.
He released the prison out, condemned a breakdown in off authorities. I’m even having true life examples of one of the case where. 12 nights training actually helped him out and the guys to escape, and they’ve was the person to escape the sad irony or fast stories that the two Hagman was in South Lake and Colton hung themselves.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:27:34] That’s not one of those feel good stories.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:27:37] No, no, no, but that’s the true life. True life of comparison. I guess
as entertainment factor quite often
Dan LeFebvre: [00:27:56] when you put it that way. That makes perfect sense. There’s something along those lines in Prince of thieves in particular, because I thought that movie was a little bit different than some of the other Robin hood films that I’ve seen. In that in Prince of thieves, we don’t see a lot of his marksmanship being put on display until he starts that rescue.
And each shoots the rope of course. But in other ones we’ve seen like where Robin hood splits in the arrow in half. And then of course in this one we do end up seeing him should rope. So we get the idea that he’s. Great marksmanship. There was a quote that from the movie that I believe it was will Scarlet, where Robin tells will that there’s something that’s too dangerous for him, him, and we’ll reply as well.
So is your aim with the idea that maybe Robin hood is not that great of a marksman in this version of it, but what do we know about Robin Hood’s archery skills?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:28:47] The original stories on jam packed with archery competitions. Any time they want an excuse to go to a place, they were arranged for there to be an archery competition.
And then Robin shows his prowess at the competition and he is a crack. But the film captures this out of it. Cause the story also shows when Robin misses, which can doesn’t a couple of times. And why did the, he does. So there’s a kind of lot of banter and backslapping and making fun of him and that type of thing because he’s actually missed something.
So the skill of Robin and his men, especially John, is very much there. And the stories, and this isn’t entirely surprising, the praying of men at that time, the laws of the land, like the highs ones in the 12th century of the statue of Winchester and the late 13th century and men has to be equipment, bows and that to practice.
So that’s not unusual in the film. I think at one point he does actually split an arrow and the tree, this is off the original stories. This is called splitting the warm when they have to hit the target, spit it, and he does that a number of times. He’s worn three times now. Um, closer is maybe Fitbit, but one historian has said that as a panic meaning, but we don’t want to dwell on that.
It doesn’t bear thinking about, but if I may read you a short extract from. Uh, in his last days when he’s away from, showed forest and he’s missing the forest to just says, alas, sent a good woman. My wealth is all gone away. I used to be a good Archer, solid and also strong. I was wrecking the best Archer that Mary England.
So he was, he was human and he could miss
Dan LeFebvre: [00:30:32] that. Sounds painful. Yeah, I’m sorry. So towards the end of the movie. We see Robbins band of Outlaws rescue to Villar Zers from being executed, as I mentioned. And then we, uh, Robin and Azeem rescue Marion before her marriage to the sheriff, basically before the sheriff rapes her.
After this, there’s a sword fight between the sheriff and Robyn. That’s kind of the big killing off the big bad guy. Robyn kills the sheriff and then Azeem saves Robin’s life by killing. The, which I mentioned earlier, is kind of the final fulfillment that we’ve seen throughout the entire movie. Azeem vowing to save Robin’s life at some point.
And then Robin and Maryann are about to get married in Sherwood forest, and that’s when we see Sean Connery’s version of King Richard show up and insist on giving and away. And it kind of ends happily ever after. But how does this compare to the way Robin’s story really ended
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:31:28] with his death as an older age?
And what happens is that arrives and he’s so impressed by what Ashley can Richard in the film, but in the original trustees, some King Edward into which King Edward to spend to be, actually, that’s probably irrelevant because they’ll just use the King’s name all the time. It’s most likely. So that could be added with the second ed with the first 204th perhaps century.
Anyway, Robin and his men go off to join King service, but Robin is unhappy. He misses showing very much, and he laments about the forest. In fact, she says then set a good crop in Alaska one away. If I do longer with a King, my sorrow. So he wants to get back to forest and he breaks a promise to the King.
He says, can I go back to for a week and the King? It allows that, but it doesn’t. He must come back. But then he goes and stays for years. Then in Sherwood forest and at one point then in life, laughing the story on is quite, quite fun property. There’s this big gap. You don’t hear about what he gets up to Sherwood forest when he returns.
He goes to Coakley happy today and he goes out to have his blood there for health reasons. But he’s tricked by his cousin who happens to be the priors of current case. We don’t know whether she bet in too much for reasons which aren’t made clear in the story. She and her lover, what I’ve done Casta try him and he dies and that’s the end of the story.
So we have this, the story is more of the events. Then he goes away for years with the King and then
he comes back to the forest and he dies some years later.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:33:15] So yeah, it seems like it almost was a happily ever after, at least as far as this part of the story is concerned.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:33:21] Yes. Cause he ain’t got
a full license.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:33:29] I’m curious because we’ve been talking about Prince of fees, but obviously there are a lot of other Robin hood movies out there. Do you have one that you think does the best job of portraying the legend of Robin hood?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:33:49] Robin and marriage from 1976
made Marion pay by Audrey Hepburn. It’s far more realistic and catches the humor and catches the adventure, but not in such an over the top action way that seems more believable. That’s more human. It’s a real human story. And I think in that it is a more engaging film. So I’m very fond of that. But I also quite like a 1984 film called the zany adventures.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:34:20] I don’t think I’ve seen that one.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:34:21] That’s a funny one, and that’s got the best, and it’s one I show to my students. When you start rubbing in the second semester, and of course Robin hood is humorous, knock about humor.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:34:40] How about on the other side of it, which Robin hood movie would you say is the, that does the worst job of portraying the legend.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:34:47] It needs to be very biased because as a boy, you grow up with Robin hood films you enjoy. I wasn’t very fond off the last film from 2018
Dan LeFebvre: [00:34:56] yeah, that was very over the top.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:34:58] It’s very over the top.
It’s more steam punk than history, I think, as you say, over the top, and that detracted from it. I think, as I said, to be fair, most films are wrong, turn and do the wrong. Does choice change to reflect the age? So I suppose this one flex, I’m the only kind of 21st century audience absent what they’re after.
So I don’t criticize it. I just didn’t enjoy it.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:35:24] That makes sense. Now, w would there be anything, I guess in print a fees, but really in any of them, are there legends that you really wish that they had included. That are not included in some of the film adaptations?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:35:37] Well, again, as I said earlier, I’m off the clock because in this story and when I’m watching these films, so I don’t mind, but it would be interesting to see which captured more of the tails.
And this comes as quite a shock to students from Columbia and for others who read the term for the first time because the band of Outlaws can be quite vicious. And at one point, little John and like the Melissa, they kill a monk and actually be head boy, monk and novice. So there’s an element of brutality.
Many audiences love. They love these where the Knights and fighting each other and cleaving tongue in half, just like people like today. So I think that might come across strong in some shops or cool.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:36:24] Yeah. I imagine that that’s going to be tough to balance with the, the humor of it all
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:36:29] and it’s quite quite shocking and difficult to follow in stories because this is an original story to say, I like this woman.
It then something to laugh at something that’s shocking and not supposed to be outraged by it necessarily. I think if he’s a criminal in that sense, he tries for a reason.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:36:55] Well, that leads me into something I was curious about that. I don’t think they mentioned it in Prince of thieves, but it’s something that’s in a lot of other Robin hood stories, and that is just the term Robin hood and his Merry men, which. Isn’t the name, it just makes you think, Oh, they’re happy, happy, go lucky.
Uh, Banda folks. Um, but as Outlaws and if it’s going to be a lot more brutal than, that’s not necessarily the case. But where did the term marry men and what are the, what did that kind of come up.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:37:29] But the term does appear in the original stories. So perhaps it comes from that. I don’t think it means reading too much into it. And it says in the modern term of Marion happy. It’s probably more, or perhaps mischievous, but the term Murray England is pretty much in the original texts.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:37:51] Okay. Yeah. Cause when moon, I hear that.
I think they’re just having these parties out in the forest and you know, marry men. They’re having a lot of fun out there.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:37:58] That’s always a song to get paid.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:38:07] Yes. What’s something from the Robin hood legend that for those of us who mostly know Robin hood through movies, but what’s something that would be very surprising for those to find out about the real story? The real legend.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:38:26] He’s this character that is going to be legendary and mythical. But as I grew into a book, and it’s not a radical Lockman in wakes, it makes sense. Um, I do believe the stories were based on a real life character that are, I mentioned other medieval admirals who had tales told about them, who are real people.
So we have heroin. The wake used just the monk focus. Chris Warren and others knew people and then brought into these tails. So I think the stories may well have been inspired by a real life. But someone actually call is a different matter. And the fact the name Robin hood doesn’t necessarily mean anything at all because it was a kind of a Jondou name for criminals.
It’s a kind of catchall name. So we have the notes, notes of people could Robin hood in the criminal records and it, it’s used as an alias or a nickname for criminals in the middle ages.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:39:15] Interesting. So it’s more of a, not necessarily just one person then, but just a title of sorts. A John DOE is a great way to phrase that of we don’t really know who this is, partly because they’re an outlaw, so just kind of attribute it to Robin hood.
Is that how that would work?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:39:36] Or a patient PC prod or something like that. And is that a name that is associated with your career or your activity or your job profession? So yeah, the name doesn’t get us anywhere at all. Would
Dan LeFebvre: [00:39:48] you equate Robin hood then that the character of Robin hood is kind of, we’re not really sure that he existed to something along the lines of a King Arthur, where again, we’re not really sure if this was a real person.
It might’ve been based on somebody. But perhaps not perhaps based on multiple people legends grown over the millennia.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:40:08] Yes. I think that’s a good.
But in the book, I do name a trap from the 13th century who we have Chronicle records for know existed. He’s in Chronicle records and he’s an official records, and he was, he met a band of 1000 Bowman in the forest, and he was fighting against the people who are out trying to overtake phone of England.
And this is all very real. The point about book, you said it perfectly timed for legend. Now, the legend of Robin hood really started taking off in the 13th century to this Bowman and fleet of men in the forest in the 13th century called William was a legendary figure in his own lifetime and wasn’t an, it was an ordinary yeomanry.
The character and his renounce, even the French Chronicles wrote about him. So is the vent, is exploits would seem similar. I should say that when I slashed it off for Rod’s rope notebook, I never meant try anything about Robinhood, but I was researching something, which is the forgotten invasion of England and trust.
And is when writing that book, I came across this is in the forest with his band of vouchers. He fought against tyranny. He was both a hero and a note because the French invaded a native and outfalls to the English who Xerox is fighting the French. And it’s remarkable how soon after this Robin hood legend takes off in England.
So the timing works very rough.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:41:41] Interesting. Well, leading right into that, because since you mentioned your book, I know we’ve, we’ve covered a lot of the truths and legends and things about Robin hood, but I know there’s going to be a lot more that we will never be able to cover on a single episode, but fortunately there is your book, Robin hood, a true legend.
Can you share a bit about your book, where someone listening to this can pick it up and where they can find out more about your work?
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:42:07] Okay, sure. The book, Amazon Kindle, what I do in this short book, because what I don’t do in a book
and then say what they’re liking the 16th century in the 17th century and 18th century, because that’s all fiction. I’m really interested my concentrate on this. So I don’t take that as a starting point, and then I moved back in time to see where the original train applies. And so it’s pretty much the historical approach.
You start with a folklore approach or a literary approach is pretty much that, which is what interests me. So that’s in this short book, Robin hood, a true legend, but the events around this other couch Williams has a possible real life character were also discussed in another book of mine, which was the subject of my PhD, and that’s called Christ fog, the MasterCard and the invasion of England for 15 to 1217 and they give the whole context of why the stories might originate in this time as well.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:43:12] I love that approach to it being a lot more historical cause there are so many legends and you know, it’s nice to, to focus on on the historical side of it, which is a refreshing take.
Dr. Sean McGlynn: [00:43:23] Like I said, I wasn’t looking for him. I
let him fly, hang on a minute. Whereas a lot of the approaches off from.
I come to this with original angle, which hasn’t been discussed before, but it was first published. It received global attention. Some of it misinterpreted my views, a lot of news outlets and media, but nonetheless, it’s a crucial story and I’ve had plenty of time to think about it. I’m still convinced that if that was to the one real life character that inspired Robin hood.
My final way, the closest most than any other two second put forward.
Dan LeFebvre: [00:44:11] Wow. Thank you so much for your time, Sean. Coming on to chat about Robin hood, Prince of thieves.