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"Debunking Robin Hood" Respected Historian gives London talk on the factual and mythical origins of the legendary outlaw hero

Genius professor and exuberant lecturer Prof Ronald Hutton returns to the Crick Crack Club following January's brilliant exploration of the figure of the Hero. This time, he's here to examine Outlaws, and how Outlaws becomes folk heroes. The best example of just such a hero is the world's most famous outlaw, Robin Hood, a figure as surrounded by legend as he is by historical fact. What does Robin have that the others don't?

With customary intelligence and humour, Professor Hutton will dissect the Robin Hood story we know and love. He'll give Maid Marian a once-over, and – over wine and nibbles - scrutinise Friar Tuck's waistline, too. He'll muse over which roads are best for a good highway mugging and ask: Why is Robin Hood so famous? How long has his legend been in existence? What has been added to it and when? And finally, the awkward matter of: Did Robin Hood ever actually exist?

RONALD HUTTON is the Professor of History at Bristol University, where he has taught for thirty-three years after winning his degrees at Cambridge and then Oxford and being elected to a Fellowship at an Oxford College. He has since been made a Fellow of the British Academy and of three other learned societies. He has broadcast regularly on radio and television for thirty years, writing and presenting his own work as well as being a regular contributor to documentaries: his most recent series, "Professor Hutton's Curiosities," explored London museums for the Yesterday Channel. His most recent publication is Pagan Britain (Yale University Press, 2013).

The talk was given on Wednesday 8th April 2015 and was the first event of the Crick Crack Club's Spring Events.


THE CRICK CRACK CLUB is England's premier promoter and programmer of performance storytelling. It has led the revival of performance storytelling in the UK since 1987 – focusing on the contemporary performance of international folktale, fairytales, myth & epic for predominantly adult audiences. It collaborates actively with numerous theatres, arts centres, festivals and music venues across the UK. It also tours work nationally; offers practical training, and mentors emerging artists.