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The earliest ballads of "Robyn Hode" are told in vivid modern prose—fast, violent, satirical, sinister, tragic, and national epicThe five earliest ballads of "Robyn Hode" constitute the best version of the famous, heroic outlaw—fast and violent, earthy and satirical, dangerous, sinister, mysterious, and revolutionary. The king is always referred to as "Edward our comely king," pointing to the reign of Edward I, when a Robert Hode of Wakefield, an outlaw at the time, entered the king's service for a year. There is no Friar Tuck or Maid Marian, these being later additions in Elizabethan times. The only woman in Robin's life was Mary the Mother of God, with the single exception of the Sheriff's wife. This is an exhilarating new telling of Robin Hood for our time, full of valor, passion, and bloodshed.

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