Further to my post about the book Robin Hood’s Garland I told you about earlier, I thought that I’d bring to your attention the following finding.
Whilst most people think that Robin Hood acquired an international reputation with the advent of film, this is not the case. In the 1800s the famous French novelist Alexandre Dumas published two novels in French entitled Robin Hood: Le Proscrit and Le Prince des Valoirs (“The Prince of Thieves”).
However, on reading the “Garlands” book it appears that:
‘Ives, in his Voyage from England to India, published in 1773, speaking of Madagascar, says-“the natives of this island, who have dealings with our people, pride themselves, it seems, in English names, which are bestowed upon them at the discretion or caprice of the sailors; and thus a venerable minister of state, who should have been called Sir Robert Walpole, or Cardinal Fleury, acquired the name of Robin Hood”‘.
Robin Hood’s international fame is, obviously, not down to Hollywood, as evidently the outlaw has been famous before Errol Flynn came along (and camped it up as well).