The Sherwood Oracle

Hidden Lore of the Wild Forest

Sterling Ethos
John Matthews, Mark Ryan, illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert
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The lore behind the figures Robin Hood and the Merry Men are some of the most enduring of all myths and legends, and their paths affect everyone who reads about them. This is a deck that breathes life into the forests of Sherwood, where romance, heroism, and the supernatural occur in equal parts, and questions about the most archetypal characteristics found in the human psyche can be answered. Written by the creators of the bestselling The Wildwood Tarot — including Mark Ryan, who starred in the cult-favourite TV series Robin of Sherwood — and illustrated by iconic artist Anne Yvonne Gilbert, this is an enchanting and enlightening tool for uncovering the legends hidden in the human subconscious.

Contributor Bio

John Matthews is an independent scholar living in Oxford. He published his first book in 1980 and has since gone on to publish over a hundred titles on myth, folklore, and ancient traditions. He has worked in the film industry as an historical advisor and won a BAFTA for his work on the movie King Arthur (2004). He has made a lifetime study of every aspect of the Arthurian legends, from its origins to modern retellings, and wrote a bestselling work on piracy. Pirates (Carlton/Athenaeum) was a number one New York Times bestseller for 22 weeks in 2005 and was translated into 18 languages. He has made frequent appearances on TV, radio, and online. Recent titles include a study of The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack (Inner Traditions), The Great Book of King Arthur (HarperCollins), The Tarot of Light and Shadow  with Andrea Aste (Watkins 2020), and The Goblin Market Tarot with Charles Newington (Watkins 2021). He sold his first screenplay in 2010 and is currently developing an Arthurian TV series and several documentaries.

Mark Ryan has been combining his acting, singing, writing, and direction talents in an eclectic and successful international career ranging over 40 years. He appeared in several major musicals in London's West End, spending 4 years in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita playing Magaldi and Che under the direction of Broadway legend Hal Prince. He originated the character of Nasir for the cult British TV series Robin of Sherwood and has appeared in dozens of films and television series both in the US and UK, including Black Sails for STARZ, playing Quartermaster Gates. He worked on the set of all five Michael Bay-directed Transformers movies, voicing Bumblebee, Jetfire, and Lockdown. Mark is also an accomplished author and has written for DC Comics and created The Greenwood Tarot, as well as TheWildwood Tarot with John Matthews. His biography, Hold Fast, was written with John Matthews and published in 2015 by Mythwood Books.

Anne Yvonne Gilbert work runs the gamut from children’s books and postage stamps to posters and record sleeves. The richness of her imagination reflects her lifelong research and interest in the quality of materials and surfaces, from the familiar glint of an embroidered cloak to the soft, unblemished skin of an infant. Her love of fairy tales and history combined has resulted in the design and illustration of many books for the top publishers worldwide. Amongst her many other commissions she has designed three sets of postage stamps for Royal Mail (her 1984 nativity won 'The World’s Most Beautiful Stamp' and the 'Golden Stamp Award'), and Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax album cover. Her originals are held in many private collections including those of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late HRH Princess Margaret.

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