East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Roleplaying Ye Olde Englande

I still buy roleplaying games, when I can afford it, and when I find something interesting. And Romance of the Perilous Land, published by Osprey (the purveyors of great wargaming and historical recreation books), caught my eye a few days ago.
I loved the cover, the concept and, indeed, the price – as Amazon lets you get a digital copy of the book for 1.99 US Dollars/1.78 Euro.
I mean… come on.

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The outlaws of Sherwood Forest are online

I was doing some preliminary research and warm-up for my next writing project, and as I was looking for online resources, I stumbled on the University of Rochester’s Robbins Library Digital Projects page, which features a number of online collections of texts and materials about – among others – the Crusades, the Matter of Britain, and, to my great pleasure, Robin Hood.

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That archer guy from Sherwood

And so it turns out my friend Clara Giuliani, over at Scribblings, does not like Robin Hood, and actually finds a certain sympathy for John Lackland, of all things.
While I nursed my broken heart1, I thought that I do like Robin Hood and therefore, today being the eight-hundredth anniversary of the death of King John Lackland, why not make a post about the best Robin Hoods out there?

Let’s recap the basics: Robin Hood is the character in a number of ballads and folk tales, and later stories, poems and romances, whose historicity is debated and does not really interest us here right now.
From th every beginning (that is, from the 14th century), Robin is described as an anti-clerical champion of the lower classes, very respectful of women (probably because he is a devout of the Virgin Mary), and an excellent archer and an enemy of the Sheriff of Nottingham. What’s not to like, I wonder!
His companions from the start include Little John, Much the Miller’s Son, and Will Scarlett, while Maid Marian and friar Tuck will come later with the reteling of the story.
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