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NA219212 - FLYNN, B.: Robin Hood (Unabridged)
The Adventures of
What does a returning crusader expect to find when he makes it home for Christmas? Not what greets Robert of Locksley, that’s for certain.
England may look peaceful under its blanket of snow, but things have changed since Richard the Lion-Heart left for Palestine to fight the Saracens. Prince John and his cronies, the sinister Sheriff of Nottingham and sly Guy of Guisborne, rule the roost now.
And no one opposes them for long. Robert discovers his father murdered, the Locksley lands stolen, and Locksley castle occupied by a usurper. He swears he will have his revenge.
But outlawed and forced to hide in the great forest of Sherwood what can he do against the power of Guisborne and the Sheriff? On his own, nothing. But Sherwood shelters more than the king’s deer. Scattered among the leafless trees are the desperate men that the Sheriff’s unquenchable greed has driven beyond the law. Robert is not the only one demanding vengeance. Through them, he learns what his real task must be. Not vengeance for himself, Robert of Locksley, but vengeance for the poor and powerless, the greatest vengeance of all.
So, as plain Robin, dressed in a hood of the simple man’s cloth of Lincoln green, he becomes the thorn the Sheriff cannot remove from his side — and the most famous outlaw in history.
Robin’s adventures have been sung in ballads and retold in stories and poems over the last six hundred years. Little John, Friar Tuck and Will Scarlet have been his constant companions beneath Sherwood’s spreading branches for all that time.
So did they exist, Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men? The answer is yes. And no. Fragments of history can be found that suggest a real Robin might have existed. Places around Sherwood and Nottingham carry his name and Little John’s, and people claim from folklore the original Robin Hood for where they live.
Someone called Robyn or Robynhood can be traced in very old Nottingham criminal records, and even in London street names. Perhaps then Robin is a legend, based on a real person.
But some of Robin’s adventures are borrowed from stories even older than the first mention of his name, and over time people have added new adventures. They all tell the tale of Robin’s cunning fight against an unjust authority.
So it might be that Robin is a myth, not based on anyone in particular, just a name, which criminals took from a story and used when they wanted sympathy from the people. Whichever it is, whether an outlaw called Robin Hood who took to the forest of Sherwood existed once or not, what is important is what he stands for.
Notes by Benedict Flynn
Author BENEDICT FLYNN has a sure touch with the re-telling of legends for younger listeners — his other works for Naxos AudioBooks include The Tale of Troy, The Adventures of Odysseus, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Tales of Irish Myths. In addition, he has translated Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
John McAndrew trained at LAMDA. He has spent several seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company where productions have included Peter Pan, All’s Well That Ends Well, Edward II and School of Night. Appearances at Manchester Royal Exchange include The Voysey Inheritance and Much Ado About Nothing. He won the Carleton Hobbs Radio Award and has since appeared in numerous radio plays, including the highly successful adaptation of Lord of the Rings.
The music on this cassette is taken from the Marco Polo catalog
MARSCHNER OVERTURES 8.223342
Slovak State Philharmonic, Alfred Walter
AURIC ORPHEE 8.225066
Slovak State Philharmonic, Adriano
HONEGGER LES MISERABLES etc 8.223134
CSR Symphony Orchestra, Adriano
HOLMBOE STRING QUARTETS 8.224127
Kontra String Quartet Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Ole Schmidt
Music programmed by Nicolas Soames
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