The File on… Robin Hood

Robin Hood and his Merry Men took from the rich and gave to the poor. They broke the law for their love of justice. Not content to give a vivid account of the English popular hero’s life of adventure, authors Ulrike Gerold and Wolfram Hänel explain how much of the story is based on proven fact and which parts had better be relegated to the realm of legend.

The ballads of the Middle Ages tell about the nobleman who suffered tyranny and despotism for himself before becoming an outlaw who undertook to henceforth fight injustice and oppression with skill and cunning. Whether Robin Hood really was a champion of social justice, though, or just another thief and highwayman, is by now next to impossible to determine. To watch how historical facts are passed on and transformed along the way, as each new generation strives to add new characters and details, is hardly less exciting than the legend itself.

It all begins when young Robert of Locksley is stripped of his estate through trickery and deceit, and takes to the woods – Sherwood Forest – to become an outlaw. The men he meets there, kindred spirits, soon become his trusty companions and friends for life. And it’s all there: Robin and huge Little John fighting it out with poles, an arrow-shooting contest with crack marksman Scarlet, and his encounter with Friar Tuck, philosopher-cum-glutton. They’re united in their fight against vindictive Guy of Gisbourne, and Robin’s other great adversary, the Sheriff of Nottingham, who’ll stop at nothing to hunt them down. After a great many adventures, Robin Hood eventually comes face to face with the great King of England, Richard Coeur de Lion.

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Ulrike Gerold

Born in Hanover in 1956, Ulrike Gerold studied German, theatre arts and art history in Berlin. After working as literary and artistic director for several theatres, she became a freelance journalist in 1993, specializing in culture, science and travel writing. She has written non-fiction books and travel accounts.

Wolfram Hänel

Wolfram Hänel was born in Fulda in 1956. After studying German and English in Berlin, he worked as a copywriter and poster artist, as well as literary and artistic director. Since 1987 he has written a number of plays, as well as books for children and young readers, reaping numerous awards along the way. He lives in Hanover with Ulrike Gerold.

Stefanie Roth

Born in Dresden in 1969, Stefanie Roth studied illustration and graphic arts in Prague and communication design at Berlin-Weißensee’s Kunsthochschule, attending Professor Volker Pfüller’s master class. She has been freelancing as a graphic designer, illustrator and designer of books since 1997. She’s also headed the faculty of graphic design at Schwerin’s Design Schule since 2008.

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