THE GOOD YEOMEN by Jay Williams


Email this review


A rather startling re-viewing of the Robin Hood-Little John legend, which will disturb those who cling to the glamorous and romantic traditional version. The story as here told tells of John, a serf, noble of nature, resenting his master, and forced to flee when he accidentally kills in anger. Bound for Nottingham, he encounters a green clad forester in Sherwood Forest -- and his future is changed. Here is a sober interpretation of the story, from John's viewpoint, into which sex and the class struggle are injected. John seduces Lady Agnes, leaves her because he is a serf; Robin Hood wins her and prepares to marry her. John wants him to rise against the King, with the support of the discontented serf class, but Robin Hood wins a pardon instead, joins the King's forces- and the tale ends with Friar Tuck and Little John plotting Robin Hood's death so that he can achieve martyrdom, as protector of the down-trodden. Not a very satisfactory version for the average reader.

Pub Date: May 7th, 1948
Publisher: Appleton-Century