The Devil in a Forest


  • First published by Follett, 1976.


A highwayman corrupts the small medieval village where a young man lives.


  • General comments on place in Wolfe's corpus
  • Sources of quotes
  • Meanings of names
  • References to other works
  • Etc.


This may be a moral fable showing the corruption inherent in the idea of a "Robin Hood" who robs from the rich to give to the poor.

In this version, Wat is completely out for himself. He steals from "rich" prosperous tradesmen and bribes the poor charcoal burners for shelter. He tricks the village into helping him and for a short time they end up living in the woods like the Merry Men.

Wat -- Robin Hood
Sieur Ganelon -- Sheriff of Nottingham (also Robin in disguise, and wearing green).
Cope -- Little John
Phillip -- possibly Will Scarlet (wealthy background)
Abbot -- Friar Tuck
Josellen -- Maid Marion
Mark -- Midge the Miller's Son (youngest of the band) and Allan-a-Dale (romantic sub-plot, and lives to tell the tale).
Mother Cloot -- the evil abbess that kills Robin in the legends.

Unresolved Questions

Unlike most Wolfe books, few mysteries are left unexplained in the end. Possibly this is because the book is intended for younger readers.