A painting of the city of Canton c. 1800, where Ching Shih lived before she became a pirate. (Photo: Unknown Chinese artist/Public Domain)
At the dawn of the 19th century, a former prostitute from a floating brothel in the city of Canton was wed to Cheng I, a fearsome pirate who operated in the South China Sea in the Qing dynasty.
Though the name under which we now know her, Ching Shih, simply means “Cheng’s widow,” the legacy she left behind far exceeded that…
Source: The Chinese Female Pirate Who Commanded 80,000 Outlaws | Atlas Obscura
A man in tights, a thief and a fox; Robin Hood has been presented in many different ways. To us, today, he is a legend who most will place within the reign of Richard the Lionheart and the evil King John, who fought the Sheriff of Nottingham and fell in love with the beautiful Maid Marian. However, the story has not always been the fairy tale we know it as today. The first mentions of the outlaw hero appear in the fourteenth century, when an outraged monk recorded several men repeatedly missing mass to listen to stories of Robin Hood and other outlaws such as William of Cloudesley, who was an English version of the famous Swedish archer William Tell. Whilst these stories were orally told to a wide audience, from peasants to courtiers, work by Dobson has uncovered that the most popular audience for these stories was likely to be a middling class of townspeople. The main case for Dobson and other historians who support the claim rests on the word ‘yeoman’ which crops up repeatedly in the tales of outlaws. Yeomen were not only given important protection by outlaws and received help by them, but they themselves were a special type of yeoman; a forester. Why exactly did the middling rank of most societies suddenly find themselves in need of a hero who lived in the forest, robbed and murdered?
By turning a criminal into a hero, what the audience does is…
Source: I Need A Hero: Why Medieval England Needed Robin Hood | The York Historian