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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Robin Hood: Genesis of a Whig Myth

       I am going to lay out a personal theory, and encourage anyone who knows anything about the history of the Robin Hood myth to share knowledge in the comments. 
       In my early days as a conservative, I had the knee-jerk idea that there was something wrong with the Robin Hood myth.  Steal from the rich, give to the poor;  how Marxist!  As an experienced observer of eighteenth century British politics, I now conclude that Robin Hood is a Whig myth.  Who are the villains in Robin Hood?  Landed aristocracy, the church, and a corrupt Sheriff.  In other words, three groups that anyone in the elegant eighteenth would have associated with the Tories.  And another thing, the heroes are thieves!  Thieves, as in Bluff Bob in The Beggar's Opera?  The emerging commercial class are often spoken of by the Tories as being thieves.  Hence Estase's term Hip Hop Whiggery, also referring to the Daniel Defoe novels Roxana and Moll Flanders.  So in defending thievery as the natural consequence of restricted economic opportunities, the Tories are again attacked!  Feel free to conclude I've watched The Public Enemy too many times.

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