It might have been a mistake, but a friend dragged me to see Russell Crowe as Robin Hood recently. She loved it. As an ex-mediaeval historian I had a few more problems: specifically my blood pressure. I know it was set just outside ASNaC’s jurisdiction, but there’s definitely some transferable knowledge.
Now, I understand that they almost certainly had an historical consultant – after all they did get right the fact that chain mail weighs a tonne. Well, okay, maybe three stone, as if you were running around all day with a small child strapped to your back. Robin has to ask Marian to help him off with it before he can bathe. The fact that later in the film Cate Blanchett, a twig of a woman who has most certainly not spent years growing used to the weight, manages to turn up to battle in full chainmail and then fight – hey, I’m not even going to go there. Some romantic licence must be allowed.
Russell Crowe as Robin Hood
So they almost certainly did have an historical consultant, even if they did ignore eighty, eighty-five per cent of what s/he said. Let’s not go into calling the king ‘Your Majesty’ 350 years early, burning a body instead of burying it, wielding a broadsword one-handed, or the boats which needed another 500 years to be invented. I did have an actual head-slapping moment when King John refused to sign the Magna Carta, because, actually, in fact, sorry, he DID ACTUALLY SIGN! The woman sitting next to me looked a bit startled.