Robin Hood

January 1998
2 black and white illustrations
203 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780859914369
Format: Hardback
Library eBook

Robin Hood

The Forresters Manuscript (British Library Additional MS 71158)

Hilton Kelliher

Edited by Stephen Knight

The major discovery of a late 17c manuscript of Robin Hood ballads is a significant event in the study of early English popular culture: fuller and variant ballad texts introduced with full critical apparatus.
The discovery of the Forresters Manuscript in 1993 cast new light on the Robin Hood ballad tradition. Dating from about 1670, it contains twenty-one ballads, with two versions of one, providing texts clearly superior to those available in Child's classic ballad collection: for example, the action of Robin Hood and Queen Katherine and The Noble Fisherman, obscure for centuries, is now clear in versions fuller than those apparently cut down to fit the size for broadside publication.Other Forresters texts of high interest are radically variant texts of Robin Hood and Allin a Dale, Robin Hood and the Bishop and The King's Disguise and Friendship with Robin Hood, the last two offering texts some seventy years earlier

This edition offers a full diplomatic text in original spelling with light modern punctuation, textual introductions, notes on text and meaning, glossary and bibliography. A General Introduction discusses the tendencies of the manuscript asa whole, and a Manuscript Description is provided by HILTON KELLIHER, Keeper of Western Manuscripts at the British Library.

STEPHEN KNIGHT is Professor of English Literature at the University of Wales at Cardiff.

An e-book version of this title is available (9780585162867), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


A fascinating insight into the popular culture of the 17th century. MEDIUM AEVUM

Excellent edition... an important contribution to Robin Hood studies... Professor Knight's knowledge of the whole Robin Hood tradition, as well as his enviably wide range of scholarly skills, put us all in his dept. SPECULUM

Also by Author