Robin Hood is significant, not because of the life of any real person but because he is a symbol. So, appropriations of his name in later centuries are significant because they highlight what the name meant to people like you and I in times past.
I recently came into possession of a book written by Thomas Cooper (1805-92), a famous Chartist activist, which he gave to his friend, the newspaper proprietor and fellow Chartist, John Cleave (1790-1847).
Chartists writers loved drawing inspiration from England’s medieval past; in their campaign for political reform, which better figure could they choose than England’s famous outlaw from the Middle Ages?
“A plebeian fighting for the poor and rewarded with poverty.”
I have recently been contracted by a commercial publisher to write a popular history book entitled “The Mob Reformer: The Life and Legend of Wat Tyler” which is due for publication in 2018.
In 1865 the penny dreadul “Little John and Will Scarlet” appeared, full of ideas of democracy and egalitarianism.
The “vicious republican” of the Victorian era on Robin Hood.
In Thomas Miller’s novel ‘Royston Gower’ (1838), Robin Hood is portrayed as a medieval Chartist activist.