Book blog Pages Unbound is hosting a Robin Hood reading event this week, so I'm answering their discussion questions. I'd love to hear your answers—Robin Hood is a fascinating legend—so feel free to answer the questions on your own blog, in Pages Unbound's combox, or in mine.
What versions of Robin Hood have you read? What retellings?
Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead and The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley are the two that come to mind. It's possible that I've forgotten others. I've also read Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, and the outlaw and his merry men are featured therein. I've reviewed Hood and The Outlaws of Sherwood on this blog.
What movie or television versions have you seen?
I grew up with the animated Disney version, and am still known to sing some of the songs around the house and smile over them. As an adult, I've seen Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and its spoof, Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
Do you have a favorite book or film?
It's impossible not to love the old Disney, with its lively characters, cheerful songs, adventurous children, and happy ending. Men in Tights is naughty but desperately funny. Hood is the most interesting in a historical sense—Lawhead's study of the legend, explained in the back of the book, is as fascinating as his storytelling—and The Outlaws of Sherwood was probably the most enjoyable read for characters and relationships.
Who is your favorite classic character?
Eh, I'm a girl and a romantic. I like Marian.
How do you feel about female Robin Hood characters?
As in, the substitution of a girl for the traditionally male protagonist? Or the general shortage of women in old tales like this? The former could be interesting if done well. The latter... suffice it to say that that was one of the reasons I liked the McKinley version. McKinley puts females in lead roles even if they weren't present in the original myths.
Do you like an emphasis on the romance between Robin and Maid Marian, or more emphasis on adventure?
Adventure bores me very quickly if it's not strongly supported by character and relational development. Said relational development does not have to center around the romance, however, as there's lots of superb camaraderie to be had in the Hood mythology. But even though Marian was a rather late addition to the canon, historically speaking, I confess that I'll be a bit disappointed if the love story is left out entirely.
Your turn to answer the questions!