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Title: The changing faces of Robin Hood, c.1700-c.1900 : rethinking gentrification in the post-medieval tradition
Author: Basdeo, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 2461
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the changing representations of England’s most famous outlaw, Robin Hood, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It makes an original contribution to knowledge by arguing that the concept of gentrification, first posited by Stephen Knight, is inappropriate for application to the majority of Robin Hood texts during the period. It suggests that Robin Hood scholars should be asking, in more historically contextualised terms, whether Robin Hood is ‘polite’ (in an eighteenth-century context), or whether he is ‘respectable’ (in a nineteenth-century context). These are terms which contemporary readers would have recognised and are more helpful, as will be shown, than the ahistorical term ‘gentrified’. A further original contribution to knowledge is made by challenging Stephanie Barczewski’s argument that Robin Hood during the nineteenth century was a working-class hero. As this thesis shows, the situation is more nuanced: the majority of writers during this period were actually drawn from the middle and upper classes, and they were writing primarily for members of their own classes. Thus, an attempt to view Robin Hood texts through a book history or bibliographical lens is also undertaken, as consideration is given to the affordability of works such as the political pamphlet, the multi-volume ballad anthology, and the three volume novel, and periodicals. The impacts that these factors have upon Robin Hood’s gentrification and the audience of the works is then considered. A further original contribution to knowledge is made in the fact that this thesis examines sources that have been neglected by scholars: satirical works, criminal biographies, and penny dreadfuls.
Supervisor: Hardwick, Paul ; Mitchell, Rosemary ; Hall, Alaric Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available