The Outlaw Legend: A Cultural Tradition in Britain, America and Australia

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The Outlaw Legend explores the cultural tradition of outlaw heroes. Remembered and recreated through song, stories and film, this tradition has been remarkably resilient across time and place. Graham Seal shows that these famous 'social bandits' share many characteristics, particularly as helpers of the poor pitched against authority, and are best understood within class, ethnic and national struggles. Graham Seal celebrates the manifestations of the tradition through ballads, songs and stories, many of which are reproduced in the book. He also examines the tradition itself, looking at the relationship between history and folklore and discovering that the tradition is often articulated at moments of social, economic and political stress. He addresses the interesting question of how a cultural tradition develops and endures.

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