Curious facts about a classic medieval poem
1. The poem contains the first known reference to Robin Hood. Although the earliest known full ballads and stories involving Robin Hood date from the fifteenth century, the brave redistributor of Nottinghamshire’s wealth (though Robin Hood originally lived in Yorkshire) makes his debut – at least his known debut – in William Langland’s poem Piers Plowman, a long dream-vision poem dating from c. 1370-1390. In the poem, a man named Will falls asleep in the Malvern Hills in England, and experiences a series of religious visions which are presented allegorically.
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