Friday, 5 April 2019

Out of the Greenwood

From day one I’ve resisted the temptation to include advertising on my blog. However, today I’m going to make an exception because I have just had my first Kindle book published. It’s called “Robin Hood – Out of the Greenwood: His Gay Origins Revealed”.

I began researching this book long before I began this blog. At the time I was working as a tour guide at Nottingham Castle, and we were discouraged from mentioning Robin Hood. The city council who paid my wages insisted that someone who broke the law was not a good role model, and that he didn’t exist anyway. Even today the same council do next to nothing to promote Robin Hood. Even so, tourists were always wanting to know about Robin Hood and it was necessary to answer their questions.

Robin Hood has been mentioned on this blog a few times. A lot of these mentions have been in relation to the theory I expand in my new book. Basically, I believe that Sir John Clanvowe, a poet and courtier, was the person most likely to have compiled the ballad which was later printed as “A Geste of Robyn Hode”. It is in this ballad that we get all of the most familiar stories about this world famous outlaw which have been retold in thousands of books, films and television programmes ever since (along with a few later additions, like Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and Prince John, none of whom featured in the medieval ballads).

The theory is based on research I conducted into Sir John Clanvowe and the man acknowledged during his lifetime as the man he “married”. This partner was Sir William Neville, the Constable of Nottingham Castle from 1381. A lot of the characters and plot details in “A Geste of Robyn Hode” seem to be based on people, places and events in Sir William Neville’s family background. You can type “Clanvowe” into the search box at the side to find out more about this couple.

It was only after I left Nottingham Castle (not from choice) that I was able to do more extensive research, and eventually I put it all together in a display for Nottingham’s first celebration for LGBT History Month in 2008. From there I began writing the book, which has undergone several revisions since then.

My theory is too complex to be restricted to a few blog posts, so a fuller explanation in book form was the only way to go.

As my book is now published on Kindle Amazon (on here) I’m not expecting a huge response. All I expect is that people get a new perspective on a familiar legend and, perhaps, realise that the medieval world wasn’t how they might think.

It is my hope that this will be the first in a series of books based on some of my blog articles and on other, non-lgbt, history research.

That’s enough advertising for now. If you’re interested, take a look and buy a copy.

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