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The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  59,809 ratings  ·  1,063 reviews
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire is an 1883 novel by the American illustrator and writer Howard Pyle. Consisting of a series of episodes in the story of the English outlaw Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men, the novel compiles traditional material into a coherent narrative in a colorful, invented "old English" idiom that preserves som ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by 1st World Library - Literary Society (first published 1883)
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Scott This book is NOT written in Old English. It is written in a slightly mannered version of the same language we speak. Old English was the language of t…moreThis book is NOT written in Old English. It is written in a slightly mannered version of the same language we speak. Old English was the language of the Anglo Saxons and fell out of use about 800 years before this book was written. Old English is not readily intelligible to modern English speakers, as this sentence from Beowulf demonstrates:

"Hƿæt! ƿē Gār-Dena in ġeār-dagum, þēod-cyninga, þrym ġefrūnon, hū ðā æþelingas ellen fremedon."

That is what "Old English" looks like.(less)
Krishna Sampath I'd say probably yes, but check with your teacher if you can count it for a class requirement -- at the time of its writing, it was published as a chi…moreI'd say probably yes, but check with your teacher if you can count it for a class requirement -- at the time of its writing, it was published as a children's book.

That said, Pyle's writing style and language were deliberately archaic, to lend an appropriate tone of these tales, which are set in the Middle Ages, so there are many turns of phrase and words that require modern readers like us to look up and learn a bunch of new vocabulary words!

At least one other high schooler used it for her reading requiremnts: (

It's a fun read, and is one of the primary influences on many later Robin Hood retellings, in its recasting of Robin as a heroic outlaw, rather than as a straight-up outlaw.
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Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
These stories were great fun to read. I had never read any of these, even as a child. They did tend to have the same basic premise of outwitting someone and eventually winning their allegiance each story, but they were still very endearing. Overall, it probably was a 3.5 but I rounded up.
Karen Rós
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Seldomly I've been so touched by a book as I was by Robin Hood. From the very beginning it was a lighthearted and happy tale of an outlaw and his adventures, told in a careless, joyful and entertaining language - depicting Robin Hood not as a criminal, but a lovely young man with a sharp wit, sense of humour and excellent skills with the bow. He is the king of his band of men yet they are equal, he shows mercy for the needing and sympathy for the weak. You wish him all good in the world and it i ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: folklore, fiction, young
Marry, I didst learn to prate e'en as those stout fellows did in Merry Old England. 'Tis true, there are other accounts of Bold Robin's merry doings, but this one, I wot, pleases me most of them all. By the bright eyes of the lass I love best, I'll say you, do you give yon 'Bloody Quaker' the chance, thou wilt likewise fall, willy-nilly, under his spell, both with the pen, and the brush, for he is a fair hand with both, withal.

And to whoever did lightly reave away my copy (I've since obtained an
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this for what it was: little adventures full of mischief and jokes against the authorities.

Everyone has heard the name Robin Hood and knows about his friends Little John and Friar Tuck or Will Scarlet (who wasn't actually called that once upon a time). They have fallen out with the law for relatively innocent reasons but the law, back then, was even more of a mess than it is now. So they all moved to Sherwood Forest where they are living and hiding and giving the occasional "feast" for w
Cindy Rollins
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Howard Pyle is my of my favorite read-aloud authors. This version of Robin Hood reads like a lyric ode to Sherwood Forest and the merry band of outlaws. It is the perfect book to read aloud to young poet-warrior hopefuls. It is also the last book I will read aloud to the young man I have been teaching for almost four years, so the bittersweet ending of the book strikes a remembrance of past readings with my own children.

Let us end here:

"Thus they rode slowly onward, talking about these old, fam
Jon Nakapalau
I liked this book until the end...I wont ruin it for those of you who have not read it...but after you read it I think you will understand what I mean. Another iconic character that has evolved to this day (Green Arrow and Hawkeye).
Steve Hemmeke
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A rollicking good time. This long version by traditional storyteller Howard Pyle hums with the merriment of Robin's band of brothers. Their adventures involve bringing justice to folks in need, at the expense of the apathetic or oppressive rich and powerful passing near Sherwood forest.

It struck me that Robin Hood presents some lessons from the 1200s on masculinity, which we might not learn in our culture. The typical reference to Robin's merry men today tends to be an off color homosexual refer
Steven Walle
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful reread from my childhood. A wonderful romp through the Sherwood forest with Robin and his merry men. A tale of good and evil stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.
I recommend to all.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
PS It makes it a lot more fun if you read it aloud to a child.
Dave Skaff
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pretty much the first thing every new Kindle owner does is download a shitload of free classics. And hey why not? They're much lauded - and free! And among that set for me was this book.

I loved the Robin Hood tales as a child, read some other more kid-friendly versions of it time and time again as a boy and so I thought I'd tackle the original* here.

And? It was awesome. If you liked it then you'll like it now. Friar Tuck, Little John, Will Scarlet - the whole band is there, frolicking and robbi
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was I genuinely life altering book for me. I read it for a 12th grade book report and I absolutely loved it. This one book sparked a revolution in my reading habits. No longer was I a participant of the young adult genre, devouring books like Harry Potter or The Series of Unfortunate Events(and that's nit to say I don't like them anymore or that I think they're stupid, I still love them), I now belonged to a more scholarly class of literature. A whole new world was opened up for me.

In the
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
I have been wanting to read some Robin Hood stories ever since I read Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer because Robin Hood is mentioned so often in it. I don't think Sawyer was reading Pyle (I believe that Twain's book was published first), but this is certainly something that I could see young Tom Sawyer really enjoying.

There are honorable knaves, bloody duels, merry men pulling one over on the man, and even quite a few references to King Arthur and his knights. Also, the gang is all here,
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Read this one over time using the Serial Reader App for iPad.

Each installment was another adventure for the "merry men." The first few were the joining of several characters to the band of men. And such a sad ending that I had no idea had happened.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't really my cup of tea. Struggled for a good few months to finish this book, because it is just one of these books that you want to have read, but eventually succeeded. Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Amanda Tero
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
My review is a bit torn between two. Robin Hood in this retelling was nothing but a rogue and restless fellow. There was no King Richard for whom he was fighting behind the sheriff’s back. Instead, he was just at odds with the sheriff and the sheriff could not overcome him or his men. So, there really wasn’t much noble in Robin’s character here. That, I really couldn’t admire.

On the flip side, the humor in this was hysterical. I had several laughing aloud moments. I can appreciate good wit, and
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood is a magnificent book of small stories. One will discover this book gives an ocean of emotions and entertainment. Some of the adventures you will laugh at because of the hilarious mischievous side to Robin Hood and his band of merry men. If you want amusement and laughter this is an excellent book. Adventurous trips are also plentiful in this book. Some may want blood and guts adventure but this book provides more of innocent adventures that include wit, charm, ...more
Dec 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
At my high school, I have to read 500 pages worth of classic books. I'm not the kind of girl to fawn over Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. I wanted an interesting classic, so I picked up Robin Hood (because who doesn't like him?) I was especially drawn to him thanks to a recent viewing of Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Thank you, Mel Brooks.

Anyway. Back to the book. I was concerned about the whole "steals from the rich and give to the needy" at first because the whole premise seemed to be this: Robin
Sheila Beaumont
I read this book several times as a child, and it was fun to revisit it via this excellent audiobook. Christopher Cazenove does a brilliant job of narrating it.
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The adventures of the lusty and stout men of Robin Hood are very merry, indeed. As Howard Pyle tells it, it is all joy and love living in the woods as outlaws. Little John, Friar Tuck and other merry band members get their origin story - usually involving locked in an unwinnable combat with Robin, who gets out if the bind by recruiting them. The Nottingham sheriff and the fat priests get their comeuppance, as we know; but there was no trace of lady Marianne in this story... so where does she com ...more
Darlene Nichols
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Read aloud to the kids for school. This was a challenge to read out loud because of the old language, but I’m so glad we persevered. It was like struggling up a steep mountain and then looking back on the journey, seeing how far we’ve come and enjoying the amazing view from the top. We grew to love merry Robin and his yeomen, all clad in Lincoln green, and we were sad to say goodbye to their many adventures.
Read this for my Robin Hood module, as with Ivanhoe. This is the second book which I just couldn't read as anything but an English Literature student; my lit student hat remained firmly jammed upon my head. It pains me to read other people's reviews and thoughts on this, given that they're so wildly inaccurate about it. E.g. someone thinking it was "the" book of Robin Hood (and not knowing about the ballad tradition, or the forerunners to this such as Ivanhoe). Or someone thinking it's written i ...more
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
This was a very interesting and fun read. My first exposure to Robin Hood was the Disney classic, but it's the Kevin Costner film Prince of Thieves I remember best. And who can forget Men in Tights or the extremely annoying version of Robin and his Merry Men in Shrek? The only Robin related books I've ever read, however, are The Wode books, starting with Greenwode, by J. Tullos Hennig which I cannot recommend highly enough, and they're the main reason I wanted to hunt down a pre-Hollywood versio ...more
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
7/1/2000 - 7/10

After getting a taste of Robin Hood in Ivanhoe, I decided to find out more about him. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood takes its basis from the many old ballads about Robin Hood. As a result, it is a combination of mini-stories. Howard Pyle does a commendable job in joining all these stories into a cohesive novel. It was fun following the adventures of Robin, Little John, Friar Tuck, and the rest of the merry band!

For more info on Robin Hood check out:
Robin Hood - lots of genera
Krista Claudine Baetiong
Howard Pyle gave an interesting glimpse into the escapades of the lighthearted Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men, and with so many adaptations about this infamous folklore—both in print and film/TV—I must say that this version was entertaining enough. If there is only one thing that challenged me throughout the read, it is the archaic wording.

On another note, it took me forever to finish this book because I was watching the BBC TV adaptation of Robin Hood (starring Jonas Armstrong) the same t
3 stars stands for, “Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. Just kinda feel meh about it.”

FYI: I listened to this on audio book.

I was a teeny tad disappointed in this book. I had hoped it would be a lot more fun that it was, and it was fun in some places, but in others it was, IMO, boring/unneeded, and there were things about the writing style that drove me absolutely bonkers.

Things started out pretty well. I thought the way the narrator talks to the reader in the prologue and asks you to take his hand
The stout yeoman Robin Hood and his broad-shouldered band of outlaws make for an awesome reading adventure. The boys (ages 4 & 7) and I loved listening to the stories the in the car. The book was just as good as I remember it from my childhood.

I love how the reader does all the voices. And when the characters burst into song, as they are wont to do on occasion, the narrator even sings in character! I laughed at the fun language Robin Hood and Little John use: Any good character is stout and bro
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Quite different from many modern retellings of the story. The men where really men (it seems like beating someone up was the equivolent of a handshake), but they were also really women (I'm looking at you, Will Scarlet.) Maid Marian is present only as a thought in Robin's head. The really excellent stories, like how Robin keeps tricking people out of their clothes to keep the vengeful King Henry off his tail (by the time King John shows up, Robin is--oddly--working for him) or carrying Friar Tuc ...more
Sharon Thompson
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-boys
Read to my boys when they were in 2nd grade. At first I attempted to modernize the language but ultimately read it word for word. By far one of the favorite books we have read. Stopping on occasion to talk about new words or discuss the situation was just fine. Tough to get through the tear jerker ending without sobbing. If I had been reading it on my own it may not have had the same effect. I wish someone could make a really good Robin Hood movie that followed this plot and was appropriate for ...more
Ken Davis
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-completed
A merry adventure to be sure. There is something about Robin Hood that reminds me a bit of The Godfather; perhaps it is the unswerving loyalty of his men, or the way that he manages to help powerful people who owe him debts of honor, but either way, this adventure does not disappoint.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my most favorite book of all time.......
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Howard Pyle was an American illustrator and author, primarily of books for young people.

During 1894 he began teaching illustration at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry (now Drexel University), and after 1900 he founded his own school of art and illustration named the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art. The term Brandywine School was later applied to the illustration artists a

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