Cultural depictions of Richard I of England

Richard I of England has been depicted many times in romantic fiction and popular culture.

Robin HoodEdit

The Scots philosopher and chronicler John Mair was the first to associate Richard with the Robin Hood legends in his Historia majoris Britannae, tam Angliae quam Scotiae (1521). In the earliest Robin Hood ballads the only king mentioned is "Edward our comely king", most probably Edward II or Edward III. However, Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe popularised Mair's linking of the Hood legends to Richard's reign, and it was taken up by later novelists and by cinema. Typically Robin is depicted upholding justice in Richard's name against John and his officials during the king's imprisonment. Richard appears in the novella about Robin Hood, Maid Marian (1822), by Thomas Love Peacock.[1]

Other literatureEdit

Richard has appeared frequently in fiction, as a result of the 'chivalric revival' of the Romantic era.




Richard has been portrayed on film by:


Richard has been portrayed on television by:



  • Richard was depicted in two different issues of the Classics Illustrated comics series. The first was a 1953 adaption of Walter Scott's The Talisman, and the second was a 1955 adaption of Scott's Ivanhoe.[25]

Video gamesEdit

  • In the Robin Hood-inspired adventure game Conquests of the Longbow, Richard is featured as a prisoner of Leopold of Austria. As in the previously-mentioned legends, Robin Hood is working to raise 100,000 marks in ransom to release Richard.
  • The strategy game Medieval: Total War features two battles based on his encounters with his rival Saladin: the battle of Jaffa and the battle of Arsuf.
  • The sequel, Medieval II: Total War shows Richard on the box cover, and the player has the opportunity to play the Battle of Arsuf. Richard is also included the expansion pack Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms where he makes an appearance during the Crusades campaign.
  • In Empires: Dawn of the Modern World his campaign is pre-1190 and sees him fight French King Philip II.
  • He is one of the main Crusader characters in the real-time strategy game Stronghold: Crusader, appearing on the box cover, in one of the historical campings and as a AI Lord in Skirmish mode.
  • In Age of Empires 2, Richard can be played in battle against Saladin.
  • In Age of Empires: The Age of Kings for Nintendo DS, Richard the Lionheart is a usable hero and the final campaign features six missions based upon him, including the Battle of Arsuf and a fictional assault on Jerusalem.
  • In Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader, the player character is a 16th-century descendant of Richard I. The game follows an alternate history timeline in which Richard's execution of the prisoners after the capture of Acre completed a ritual that unleashed magic and demons into the world. (2003)
  • In the 2007 action-adventure video game Assassin's Creed (set in the time of the third crusade) Richard plays a major part in the game, making several appearances and at one point interacting with the main character. Richard speaks English with a French accent in the game as a reference to the fact that he spoke Occitan (native mother tongue), Latin, Anglo-Norman language and Old French, and barely knew Old English or Middle English in real life.
  • In Civilization II, King Richard's Crusade is one of the Wonders of the World. This Wonder provides increased production.


  1. ^ "Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866)". Encyclopædia Britannica. 21. 1911. p. 22.
  2. ^ Stevens, Anne. H. British Historical Fiction Before Scott. Palgrave Macmilian, 2016. ISBN 9781349319459 (p. 108)
  3. ^ Horswell, Mike The Rise and Fall of British Crusader Medievalism, c.1825–1945 .Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxford; Routledge. ISBN 9781351584258 (pgs. 76-8)).
  4. ^ Coyle, Heather Campbell. Howard Pyle : American master rediscovered. Wilmington Del. : Delaware Art Museum. ISBN 9780977164431 (pg. 56).
  5. ^ Nield, Jonathan, A Guide to the Best Historical Novels and Tales. London, E. Mathews & Marrot, 1929 (p.34).
  6. ^ Ernest A. Baker, A Guide to Historical Fiction. London : G. Routledge and Sons, 1914. (p.401)
  7. ^ "Among “popular” novels, see also Nevill Myers Meakin, The Assassins: A Romance of the Crusades (1902)". Satia, Priya Spies in Arabia : the Great War and the cultural foundations of Britain's covert empire in the Middle East. Oxford; Oxford University Press 2010. ISBN 9780199734801 (p.174)
  8. ^ Baker, Ernest A., A Guide to Historical Fiction. London : G. Routledge and Sons, 1914. (p.18)
  9. ^ Logasa, Hannah, Historical fiction and other reading references for classes in junior and senior high schools. McKinley Pub. Co., 1941 (p.40)
  10. ^ a b c d e f McGarry, Daniel D., White, Sarah Harriman, Historical Fiction Guide: Annotated Chronological, Geographical, and Topical List of Five Thousand Selected Historical Novels. Scarecrow Press, New York, 1963 (pgs. 59, 66, 72, 74).
  11. ^ Howard, Robert E., Lord of Samarcand and Other Adventure Tales of the Old Orient. Lincoln, NE, Bison Books. 2005 ISBN 978-0-8032-7355-9. (p.35)
  12. ^ Lamb, Harold, Swords from the West. University of Nebraska Press, 2010 ISBN 9780803226203 (p.603)
  13. ^ Crouch, Marcus, The Nesbit Tradition: The Children's Novel in England 1945–1970, Ernest Benn, 1972, (pgs. 72–74).
  14. ^ Server, Lee, Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers. New York : Facts on File, 2008. ISBN 9781438109121 (pp. 63-64)
  15. ^ Jones, Mary Ellen. John Jakes : a critical companion. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1996. ISBN 9780313295300 (pgs. 16-17)
  16. ^ Palmer, R. Barton (2009). "Queering the Lionheart: Richard I in The Lion in Winter on stage and screen". In Kathleen Coyne Kelly & Tison Pugh (ed.). Queer movie medievalisms. Ashgate. p. 58.
  17. ^ Sapp, Gregg, & Hartman, Donald. K. Historical figures in fiction.Phoenix (Ariz.) : Oryx Press, 1994. ISBN 9780897747189 (p.332)
  18. ^ Kelso, Sylvia. "The God in the Pentagram: Religion and Spirituality in Modern Fantasy".Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. 18(1) (pgs. 61-82). 2007.
  19. ^ Dasenbrock, Reed Way, "Tariq Ali's Islam Quintet" in Murphy, Niel, and Sim, Wai-chew (eds.), British Asian Fiction : framing the contemporary. Amherst, N.Y. : Cambria Press, 2008. ISBN 9781604975413 (pgs. 17-18)
  20. ^ Michael Burgess; Jill H Vassilakos Murder in retrospect : a selective guide to historical mystery fiction. Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited, 2005. ISBN 9781591580874 (pg. 182)
  21. ^ Ulett, Eva "Review: "Shadow of the Swords" by Kamran Pasha". Historical Novel Society, August 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Review:Holy Warriors". Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times. 25th July, 2014. Retrieved 4th April 2020 .
  23. ^ Potter, Lois, Playing Robin Hood: The Legend as Performance in Five Centuries. Delaware; University of Delaware Press, 1998 ISBN 9780874136630 (pp. 226-227)
  24. ^ "Richard secretly orders the assassination of Robin and his men.....The characterisation of Richard as a warmonger and a tyrant is consistent with revisionist historiography, but it represents a radical alternative to the founding myth in which the king is the embodiment of justice and defender of liberty." Chapman, James. Swashbucklers: The Costume Adventure Series Oxford University Press, 2015 Oxford University Press, ISBN 071908881X (p. 160)
  25. ^ Jones, William B. Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, with Illustrations. McFarland, 2002. ISBN 9780786410774 (pgs. 49 , 163)