Robin Hood is an English folk hero and not based in fact.
Robin and his fellows were a popular subject in early printed texts,
with their low price and wide appeal, and it is in the early days of
printing that he finally comes into his own as a literary figure. In
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, antiquarians were especially
invested in finding the sources of their national culture and heroes,
and Robin proved to be of special interest to the English. They not
only reviewed these early plays and poems for clues to the historical
identity of the figure, but also scoured historical and legal records
to find any information that may have led to a proof for his identity.
Despite the efforts of authors like P. Valentine Harris (see case 5),
no verifiable Robin Hood emerged from the historical record. Today,
most scholars accept Robin as a literary invention, based in part on
other figures like Gamelyn and Fouke fitz Waryn, as well as real-life
outlaws. Any search for the ideal Robin Hood, a dispossessed noble who
robs from the rich to give to the poor, is doomed to failure. That
Robin is a modern figure whose individual characteristics were added
in different stages, which are roughly represented in this exhibit.
Source- Rochester University