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The Outlaws of Medieval Legend
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The Outlaws of Medieval Legend

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  38 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The heroes of the Middle Ages were semi-mythical figures. This text examines the popularity & appeal of Robin Hood & William Wallace, & explores the origins, spirits & background behind the stories that became part of English mythology & tradition.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published December 7th 2000 by Routledge (first published 1961)
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Cwn_annwn_13
Dec 12, 2008 Cwn_annwn_13 rated it it was amazing
This book delves into the many outlaw characters of Medieval Britain, historical, semi-historical and those of so called myth that may have contributed to the Robin Hood legend. Hereward, Fulk Fitzwain, Eustace the Monk, William Wallace, and Gamelyn are all covered with at least one chapter dedicated to each. Outlaws of Medieval Legend also looks into the possibility of Robin Hood being a real living person, even if their reality differed from that of the Robin Hood Stories. Besides that it expl ...more
Kimberly
May 07, 2011 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, uk, robin-hood
Even though Keen's book is not the most recent book on the topic, he still has some very good things to say. This edition republishes all his original material with a new introduction, explaining how some of his ideas have changed due to recent scholarship. He has a chapter on outlaw ballads as an expression of peasant discontent, but has stated that he may have overstretched his conclusions. However, his book is still good to read in order to gain a broad understanding of English outlaws, he fo ...more
Walt
Apr 14, 2009 Walt rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-medieval
This book was not what I expected. I expected to read the medieval tales of the robbers with minimal discussion. Instead, the book was largely discussion with summaries and excerpts from the tales.

The discussion was very good. Keen identified several patterns in the tales and made a good central argument of literature reflecting class struggles. The introduction to the second edition changes the thesis by stating the intended audience was the upper-lower class and the lower-middle class rather t
...more
Crystal
Aug 10, 2011 Crystal rated it liked it
Interesting read. Great book for a beginner who isn't yet well invested in medieval outlaws. The introduction did put me off a little, where he recants some of his conclusions still existing in the current editions. But it also makes me respect the writer who can unashamedly change his opinion and point out his own err in reasoning. I think it also makes the book more informative. I appreciate seeing what the current view is, and why, but it is also immensley helpful to have other (even if they ...more
Vicki
Oct 05, 2008 Vicki rated it liked it
Shelves: history
While this book was interesting, I was a bit put off from the first by the preface. The author states that he appologizes for any errors their may be in the text, blames any mistakes on himself, and admits that the book was not the result of extensive academic research. He seems to know his stuff, but it is difficult to completely trust him after that. I also wish that he had translated the verse quotes from the Old English in which it was originally written. I understood a lot of it, but there ...more
h
Sep 07, 2007 h rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2007, library, uk
got from widener. boring. even the way medieval ballads are recounted is boring.
Megan
Jun 26, 2010 Megan added it
The Outlaws of Medieval Legend by Maurice Keen (2001)
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Also known as M.H. Keen or Maurice Hugh Keen. He was a historian of the Middle Ages and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.
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