Myth and National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood

TitleMyth and National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsBarczewski, Stephanie L.
Number of Pages274
PublisherOxford University Press
CityOxford; New York
Abstract

"In nineteenth-century Britain, the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood played an important role in construction of contemporary national identity. These two legends provide excellent windows through which to view British culture, because they offer very different perspectives. King Arthur and Robin Hood have traditionally been diametrically opposed in terms of their ideological orientation. The former is a king, a man at the pinnacle of the social and political hierarchy, whereas the latter is an outlaw, and is therefore completely outside conventional hierarchical structures. The fact that two such different figures could simultaneously function as British national heroes suggests that nineteenth-century British nationalism did not represent a single set of values and ideas, but rather that it was forced to assimilate a variety of competing points of view." [Jacket]

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42289985

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