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Reviews (ADR)

from Reviews (ADR)
concerning Le Prince des voleurs

     The first volume of Alexandre Dumas' two-part interpretation of the story of Robin Hood, popularized for Nineteenth Century audiences by Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, set in England in 1162-66.
     In this book, Dumas tells the story of Robin Hood's youth: how he is delivered by an unknown man to be raised by poor but honest foresters, his great skill as an archer, how he comes into conflict with the Baron [sic] of Nottingham, how he meets Friar Tuck, the Maid Marian, Little John, Will Scarlett, and others, how he is declared an outlaw by the King, and decamps, with his followers, into Sherwood Forest to wage war against the Baron.
     This is not one of Dumas' better books. Dumas normally intensively researched his historical novels, typically using contemporary memoirs to form an opinion of the character of the historical figures, which then informed his writing. He would also often visit the scenes of his novels, so that his descriptions of geography, landscape, and even particular buildings were precise and vivid. In this case, both the characters and the landscape are generic and uninteresting. Since Robin Hood possesses superhuman skill, and the Baron is a murderous fool, Dumas' hardest novelistic task is to keep finding reasons for Robin to spare the Baron's life.

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