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What's new at IRHB

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-06. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-10-15.

Illustration by Harry E. Theaker from: Vivian, E. Charles. Robin Hood and his Merry Men (London and Melbourne, [1927]), plate facing p. 116.

Short introduction

It is hoped this wiki will in due course come to live up to its somewhat grand title. I have called it "International" because in addition to the vast amount of material that exists in English, I intend to add information about materials in other languages such as translations of ballads, secondary literature, children's fiction, literature on foreign analogues of Robin Hood etc. Arguably "Bibliography" is a misnomer as the site already includes a wealth of all sorts of information one would not nor­mally expect to find in a biblio­gra­phy, but the biblio­gra­phical aspect is in all cases taken quite seriously, and there is already a wiki named the Robin Hood Wiki, so I had to find another name for the site.

Work in progress

The menu items in the top right area of the site provide a rough guide to the topics and genres that are covered on IRHB. Given the vastness of the Robin Hood tradition — and this is no exaggeration — the site will always remain work in progress. This is important to keep in mind when reading specific entries, for although I sometimes gather materials from several sources and write a more or less well-rounded in-depth page on some topic, more often than not I work my way through the sources and add the various nuggets they contain where I believe they belong in the structure I have created. So any entry may at a given time lack important pieces of information because I have not yet got round to adding them. Over time this problem should become less pronounced.

At present there is at least some information on each topic or area of interest. As time will permit I gradually add information under all headings, but as there is such a wealth of data I have felt it necessary to focus, for the time being, on a couple of areas in order to retain the feeling – illusion? – that I am making measurable progress. Current high priority areas are allusions (especially from the 16th and 17th centuries), historical records, and especially place-names. With regard to the latter a milestone was reached on 12 October 2014 in that all relevant names from the eight English Place-Name Society volumes for the West Riding of Yorkshire had then been entered: more than one hundred Robin Hood-related place-names and localities are now included for that (important) area alone. My tally for Yorkshire alone now exceeds that of Dobson & Taylor[1] for all of England, and in many cases I have been able to supplement or correct information they provide. My entries on specific localities are often written up into short articles and are accompanied by photos, Google maps, links to, or images of, online O.S. maps at NLS, links to other sites with information, bibliographical lists and (where relevant) lists of quotations from ballad sources or from IRHB's Allusions or Records sections.

Current focus

In the spring of 2016 I embarked on a systematic search for Robin Hood-related place-names on the 6" O.S. maps of England and Wales at NLS. There are 38,370 maps, so in order to make the task more manageable I decided to focus on England and first edition map sheets only. However, when a sheet is found to include a relevant place-name, I also check all later revisions available at NLS. I have gradually worked my way through most of the counties. I am currently checking Berkshire, where I do not expect to find many relevant place-names. When I am done with this county there are just eight more, which I expect to finish by spring 2018. The search has yielded many 'new' place-names, more than fifty of which have not yet been added to the site. I am also in the process of checking all English Place-Name Society volumes for relevant material, most but not all of which is included in Dobson & Taylor.[1] I have now been through all volumes except one.

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank the following for help, information, photos, unpublished papers, encouragement, stimulating discussions, a Robin Hood teapot, a Robin Hood hat, etc.: Mogens Andersen, BA; Karl Bencke; Gudrun Billeskov; Jill Boyes; Professor Graham D. Caie; Mogens Christensen, MA; Andrew Dawson; Paul Dunnill; Malte Christian Thiil Ehlers, MA; Dorrit Einersen, MA; Professor Søren Balling Engelsen; Karen Glente, MA; Inge Guldal, MPsych; Peter Harrod; Richard Hawlor; David Hepworth, PhD; The Historic Counties Trust for permission to quote their county descriptions in toto; Søren Bartholin Holm, MA; Professor Sir James Holt (who is no longer with us); Annette Jung, MA; Gerner Dan Lauridsen, MA; Robert Lynley who does historical sleuthing better and more doggedly than any other Robin Hood aficionado; Bob Mullen; Søs Museth for books and comic books and things; Gertrud Thiil Nielsen for teaching her youngest brother Deutsch – among other things; Hans Thiil Nielsen for all our discussions about what really matters although it is unreal: time, space, and consciousness; Markus Kai Nielsen for the IRHB logo; Tove Nielsen for many talks and discussions; Vagn Thiil Nielsen (who is no longer with us) for his support, his many hours of photocopying and teaching me the uses of encyclopedias and dictionaries; Ingeborg Nixon, PhD (who is no longer with us); Nottingham Hidden History Team through their liaison officer Mr Jimmy Notts for permission to use illustrations from their blog; Thomas Ohlgren, professor emeritus; 'Onewish1' (Allison), user of the National Gardening Association website; Jan Eigil Pedersen; Tim Prevett, MA, producer, consultant and lecturer on slow TV, for use of photos; Philip Sampson; Ian Short, professor emeritus; Hans-Christian Simonsen, MA; Vibeke Sommer, MA; Geoff Spencer; Mimi Stawski; Thorpe Thewles Local History Group.

Participants wanted

Unlike many other wikis, this one cannot be edited or added to by casual visitors who also cannot sign up via the site. The reason for this restrictive policy is that I wish to avoid vandalism and confine active membership to people with knowledge of the Robin Hood tradition. Contributors are more than welcome. There is really only one requirement: a serious interest in anything Hood. The learning curve is probably not too steep if you are used to editing Wikipedia or other Mediawiki sites and know basic html. If you don't, I will put a little list of how-to's together. If you do not wish to spend time and energy learning mark-up, you are very welcome to write your contributions as plain text and let me handle the formatting. Your name will of course appear in the byline, and apart from correction of typographical errors, others are not allowed to edit your contributions without your permission. Any pages you write are your own intellectual property, though IRHB retains the right to preserve and make available to the public any submitted content. You thus cannot delete pages, but you can publish their content in other media and fora. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to IRHB. See next for contact information.

Contact

Do contact me with comments, corrections etc. Do let me know if you wish to contribute to IRHB. You can reach me via the Contact page.

Section by section

IRHB has grown into quite a large site. The information for each section listed in the boxes below will help you find your way around if you are a new visitor. If you are a regular, it will help you stay up-to-date with changes and additions to the site. It will also give you a good idea which sections of the site are more mature and which are still at an early stage of development. Perhaps you can help create more content for the latter?


Artifacts

Mass-produced artifacts such as postcards and cigarette cards, unique artifacts such as statues

This section currently includes a total of 5 pages.

Section landing-page: Artifacts.

Pages

IRHB favourites

Most recently added

Bibliography

Bibliographies, from bibliographical monographs to short lists in books and articles. Analytical bibliography also covered

This section currently includes 1 page.

Section landing-page: Bibliography.

Criticism

Literary criticism, literary history, folklore studies, cultural studies, semiotics etc.

This section currently includes 1 page.

Section landing-page: Criticism.

Early Prose

Early prose works, between chronicle and children's book

This section currently includes 2 page.

Section landing-page: Early prose.

Most recently added

Films

Feature films, TV series, cartoons, films with Robin Hood titles etc.

This section currently includes 11 pages.

Section landing-page: Films.

Pages

IRHB favourites

Most recently added

Historiography

Records relating to historical persons, criminal or law-abiding, named Robin Hood, Little John etc. Origin and audience of early tales, archery, crime etc.

This section currently includes 262 pages, including two landing pages for each century, one with links, the other with allusion texts, as well as landing pages for various groupings of records.

Section landing-page: Historiography.

Topic pages

Records per century

General record groupings and topics

  • Criminals named Little John · links · texts Records (14 pages)
  • Criminals named Robin Hood · links · texts (6 pages)
  • Criminals surnamed Robinhood · links · texts (1 pages)
  • Persons named Little John · links · texts (28 pages)
  • Persons named Richard at the Lee · links · texts (5 pages)
  • Persons named Robin Hood · links · texts (49 pages)
  • Persons surnamed Littlejohn · links · texts (2 pages)
  • Persons surnamed Robinhood · links · texts (105 pages)
  • Persons with names of minor characters · links · texts (2 pages).

Special record groupings and topics

  • Little John the mariner · links · texts (11 pages)
  • Robert le Hod of West Tisted · links · texts (11 pages)
  • Robhoods of Walsham le Willows · links · texts (104 pages)
  • Robin Hoods in Wakefield Manor Court Rolls · links · texts (23 pages).

IRHB favourites

Most recently added

Linguistics

List of works and paper discussing linguistic aspects of early Robin Hood tales. IRHB notes on linguistic topics.

This section currently includes 3 pages.

Section landing-page: Linguistics, includes list of IRHB notes on linguistic topics (2 pages).

IRHB favourites

Most recently added

Music

Music – operetta to post-punk.

Section landing-page: Music (1 sub-page)

Pages

Most recently added

Mythology

Monographs and articles arguing the Robin Hood figure originated in fertility rites etc. Monographs and articles arguing criticizing such hypotheses.

This section currently includes 1 page).

Section landing-page: Mythology.

Originators

Full bibliographical data of printed (and some MS) sources cited on IRHB, arranged alphabetically under originators' sur­names. Item entries include short title forms for citation on other pages.

This section currently includes 4506 pages.

Section landing-page: Originators, with a landing page for each letter of the alphabet, including letters in non-English alphabets as well as Anonymous (29 pages).

Most recently added

Plant Names

Folk names of plants; trade names of cultivated varieties.

This section currently includes 18 pages.

Section landing-page: Plant names.

IRHB favourites

Most recently added

Poetry

Poetry, excluding poetry written for children.

This section currently includes 4 pages.

Section landing-page: Poetry.

IRHB favourites

Most recently added

Software

Software, excluding websites and web-based games.

This section currently includes 2 pages.

Section landing-page: Software.

List pages

IRHB favourites

Most recently added

Websites

Websites dealing exclusively with Robin Hood or having substantial Robin Hood-related content.

Section landing-page: Websites.

This section currently includes 1 page.

Notes