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Erlinton

Ballad
Child 8
Title Erlinton
Versions 3
Variants 4
Stanzas 31
Date 1803 or earlier

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-09-02. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-10-21.

Child's title for this ballad is Erlinton. It exists in three versions, one of which features Robin Hood. This, the C version, is called Robin Hood and the Tanner's Daughter. Child reprints it from the edition in "Gutch's Robin Hood, [which was printed] from a manuscript of Mr Payne Collier, supposed to have been written about 1650".[1] As John Payne Collier had been exposed as a literary forger already around the mid-19th century and this version of Erlinton was known only from Collier's MS, Child's decision to include it in his collection without even noting the possibility it might be a forgery seems highly questionable.

Plot

Robin Hood meets a fair damsel, a tanner's daughter; they become lovers (straightaway), but soon the girl's two brothers come riding to fetch her home. A sword fight ensues in which Robin kills the elder brother but spares the younger at the girl's entreaty. The two then elope to the forest.

Editions

Scholarly collections

Notes