weird Robin Hood trivia

June 6, 2019

So the thing about Robin Hood is there are dozens and dozens of versions of the story going back 700 years, and new bits and pieces to it are added all the time, and the earliest stories aren’t really anchored in any historical moment. Then when you do try to anchor it history, it turns out all those bits and pieces that got added over the course of 700 years don’t really fit.

This is why every Robin Hood novel has a long author’s note explaining — defending, justifying, whatever — the decisions the author made about what bits to keep and what to leave out. (Seriously, “Author’s Notes in Robin Hood Novels” is almost its own genre.) They usually talk about longbows and whether or how much they were really being used at the time of Prince John.

But here’s a bit I’ve never really seen anyone discuss before:  Friar Tuck cannot exist at the time of Prince John. “Friar” as a title refers specifically to Franciscan and Dominican monks. Turns out, Franciscans and Dominicans didn’t reach England until after 1220 — four years after King John’s death.

I mean, it’s a tiny little thing, we can call him “Brother Tuck” and make him a Benedictine and that works just fine.  But who knew?

I can just tell I’m going to be getting really judgey about Robin Hood stories after all this research.

 

Advertisements

One Response to “weird Robin Hood trivia”

  1. Tim Schmidt Says:

    It looks like you have a lot of work to do. A cursory search on the internet shows numerous, usually conflicting, accounts of his origins. As for me, I think Errol Flynn did it best.
    Tim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.