Book Review: The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Paul Creswick

Thanks to a parishioner who enjoys perusing garage sales, our family has benefited from some very nice hardback books from Reader’s Digest and their World’s Best Reading series.

So I happened to read at last an actual literary version of Robin Hood.  This particular version is very readable and suitable for young readers.  The language is very accessible beyond a few period words that aren’t so common anymore (like jennet).  The chapters are short and for the most part can be enjoyed in any order, though there is an overall sequence to the book, an overarching narrative that takes Robin from a young boy to a man.

I was surprised at how little these stories talk about Robin Hood as a champion of the poor.  He’s presented much more as an opportunist in these books, driven to life as an outlaw but clearly rather well-suited for it both in skills and temperament.  His robbery is hardly what you might call altruistic, even if he demonstrates a basic grasp of economics – that rich people are more worthwhile to steal from than poor people.

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