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Scholars continue to find that fictional narratives provide rich insight into the historical development of a modern national consciousness. In nineteenth-century Britain, the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood played an important role in construction of contemporary national identity. These two legends provide important windows on British culture and draw from very different perspectives. King Arthur and Robin Hood have traditionally been diametrically opposed in their ideological orientation, with Arthur at the pinnacle of the social and political hierarchy and Robin Hood completely outside conventional hierarchical structures. The fact that two such different figures could simultaneously function as British national heroes suggests that nineteenth-century British nationalism did not represent a single set of values and ideas, but rather that it was forced to assimilate a variety of competing points of view.