A Gest of Robyn Hode, a Robin Hood Folk Ballad

ReginaJeffers's Blog

In 1560, William Copeland printed the fragments of the various Robin Hood folk dramas. The “plays” were likely performed by mummers and strolling players for a century or more before Copeland printed them.

A Gest of Robyn Hode

Frontispiece to Wynkyn de Worde's 15th c. or early 16th c. edition of the Gest.A Gest of Roby Hode has been known by a variety of of titles. It is one of the earliest Robin Hood stories, likely written in the late 1400s. It is about 14,000 words in length. 

A “gest,” according to Dictionary.com, means a tale of adventures; especially:  a romance in verse; an adventure, exploit, or knightly gests.

Wikipedia provides us a brief overview of the tale. “A Gest of Robyn Hode” is Child Ballad 117; it is also called A Lyttell Geste of Robyn Hode in one of the two oldest books that contain it. It is one of the oldest surviving tales of Robin Hood [and] shows every sign…

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