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The Spirit of Greenwood

Spirit of the Greenwood is a work of fiction, yet it is also a true book about Robin Hood, told in a unique way by Robin Hood historian Barbara Green.

The story describes Barbara's own personal involvement with Robin Hood's Grave at Kirklees in West Yorkshire, near Barbara's home.

Both narratives are linked together through the medium of the ghosts which haunt Robin's grave, and this is the stage on which the story is set.

Robin's life has been extensively researched by the author and sticks closely to the Little Geste, first printed at the end the fifteenth century by Wynkin de Worde. Unlike most other modern representations of the outlaw's life, Barbara keeps strictly to the theme of the Geste, backed up by other documents of the period.

This has had the effect of bringing to light some controversial facts, in particular, the identity of the king involved with Robin -  not Richard the First, as is popularly supposed, but probably the flamboyantly gay Edward 11. This little known situation adds an intriguing slant to the story, in no way changing Robin's character - (he remains merry, but not gay) and while it may not please some people, who would prefer Robin to stay as a childrens' story book character, prancing through the woods in slinky green tights, engaging in derring do confrontations with the dastardy Sheriff of Nottingham, and all within a totally innaccurate historical setting, then that cannot be helped.

The real story, Barbara maintains, is far more interesting !

The modern theme of the book describes (fictionally) Barbara's fourteen year battle to save from dereliction Robin Hood's Grave and Kirklees Priory Gatehouse, where Robin was murdered.

It reveals, also, how close Barbara came to personal disaster when she came face to face with the 'Curse of Kirklees'. In her previous book 'SECRETS OF THE GRAVE' Barbara gives a full account of her

Throughout the story runs a paranormal element, sightings of ghosts and other phenomena seen around the gravesite by many people over the years.These phantoms, of Robin and his comrades, tell their story to the heroine of 'SPIRIT OF THE GREENWOOD', Greta, and both tales, medieval and modern, weave in and out of each other as the story progresses.

Meet dashing Dirk Dashwood, holy guru and world famous vampirologist, psychic medium extrordinaire Lena Lovejoy, as well as Greta, the central character, battling through illness and breakdown as she seeks to save Robin and his doomed comrades from the Curse of Kirklees - and come to terms with her own problems.

'This is a story which was just waiting to be told' says Barbara. 'I feel very privileged to have had so unique a personal relationship with the legend by living so close to Robin's grave, so that, unlike most other Robin Hood writers, I have not had to rack my brains for a plot. I was already in the middle of one ! I am certain in my own heart that Robin emerges from my book as a more human and believable character and I hope that I have managed to exhume the real Robin from the layers of fantasy and fiction which have buried him over the years as deeply as the woods of Kirklees continue to cover his real remains.'

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