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Pyle, Howard - Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

First edition title-page / Private collection.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-08. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-09-15.

Together with Walter Scott's Ivanhoe (1820), Howard Pyle's Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883) is the most influential of all works of Robin Hood fiction outside the ballads. Inspired by renaissance traditions, directly or more likely indirectly through Scott's Ivanhoe, Pyle chose to locate the life of Robin Hood during the reign of Richard I (1189-99) rather than that of "our comely King Edward" as in the Gest, but apart from this the book follows the ballads quite closely in terms of plot and incidents. Pyle is far from being the first writer to avail himself of the fact that the ballads, arranged in proper sequence, provide a sort of life of Robin Hood. In fact the earliest English children's books on Robin Hood tended to be such prose renderings of the ballads. What distinguishes Pyle's book is especially the nostalgic tone, evident also in the author's masterly drawings.


Includes unabridged and abridged editions as well as adaptations.



Derivative works

These are children's books more loosely based on or inspired by Pyle's Robin Hood.


Comic book versions



Studies and criticism