Pyle, Howard - Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

From International Robin Hood Bibliography

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-08. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.

Together with the Gest of Robyn Hode and Walter Scott's Ivanhoe (1820), Howard Pyle's Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883) is arguably the most influential of all works of Robin Hood fiction. Inspired by renaissance traditions, directly or perhaps 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 the first writer to avail himself of the fact that the ballads, done into prose and arranged in proper sequence, provide a '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.


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