‘Very handsome’: How Robin Hood won a young girl’s heart

By Chanele Mao

When environment and planning lawyer Mary-Lynne Taylor was a young girl she was gifted a collection of picture books for her birthday. One in particular sparked her imagination and interest in history.

“One of my first books was the Robin Hood book,” said Taylor. “It was beautifully illustrated. My mother was a school-teacher, so we had lots of books around.”

The Adventures of Robin Hood was a 1960s British TV show that spanned four seasons between 1955 and 1960. It chronicled the adventures of Robin of Loxley, otherwise known as Robin Hood, and his band of merry men who protected the people of England by “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor”.

It was a very popular show at the time and at some point, she said, there was “never a place [in the world] where it was not shown”.

“I was first of all attracted to the tune and the fact that it was on at a good time, just when you came back from work or school,” she said.

“I’ve always loved the story of Robin Hood and I would see anything that had Robin Hood in it.”

“The fellow who played Robin Hood, Richard Greene was very handsome. It was only on for about half hour, so why not?”

Australia had introduced the television in 1956, so watching something on the telly was a novelty at the time and a fascination for Mary-Lynne and her family.

Legend has it that Robin Hood and his gang used this oak tree in Sherwood Forest as a hideout. Picture: Char/CC/flickr

“We got our TV in the last year that I was at school, so it was a bit distracting,” she said.

“We would have the TV in the dining room. It was on around 5:30 or 6 pm every night, pre-dinner. We were fascinated by what was on TV and were looking for things to watch.”

The Robin Hood series was “very well done”. It cheered her up after school and gave her an appreciation of the book. It also inspired her to visit England, “none of us had been to England at that time” and the first place she visited in England was Sherwood Forest, the home of her hero.

Featured image: Mary-Lynne Taylor (left) and a statue of her hero in Sherwood Forest. Photos: Chanele Mao, Nilfanion/Wikimedia UK/CC

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