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Transgressive Transformations: Representations of Maid Marian in Robin Hood Retellings

From: The Lion and the Unicorn
Volume 31, Number 3, September 2007
pp. 209-231 | 10.1353/uni.2007.0028

Abstract

During the twentieth century, numerous children's and young adult variations of the Robin Hood legend substantially expanded Maid Marian's role. Maid Marian figures in works by Carola Oman, Teresa Tomlinson, Robin McKinley, and Marcia Williams provide examples of playful experimentation with textual and cultural constructions of young womanhood. The retellings serve as "transgression" sites that both reinforce and test cultural and historical constructions of womanhood. In these permutations, Maid Marian figures blur gender boundaries, expose class conflicts, and demonstrate women's significant participation in the symbolic economies, social structures, and sexualities of the court, town, and forest.