Who hasn't heard of Robin Hood and his merry band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest? In Robin Hood - written in 1883 by Howard Pyle - you will meet them all - including the powerful Little John, courageous Will Scarlet, musical Allan a Dale, and sly Friar Tuck. Mr. Pyle offers what is probably the most complete and best collection of Robin Hood tales.
The medieval setting is portrayed beautifully, including the vast difference between the upper and lower classes of society, the corruption and greed of the nobility, and the hypocrisy of the medieval Roman Catholic church where religion has degenerated to mere outward rituals. Mr. Pyle shows that the unbalanced social structure inevitably resulted in the oppression of the poor and weak. It is left to Robin Hood and his men to take justice into their own hands, and fight nobly for the cause of the downtrodden.
Mr. Pyle presents Sherwood Forest as a rather glamorous utopian world where feasting and song abound, where it is never winter, and where the ale rarely runs dry. With Robin Hood and company there is never a lack of action, adventure, or for that matter - ale. There is also no end to the accomplishments of muscles and mind, as he and his merry band outwit all comers by sheer physical skill in archery, wrestling, swordmanship, and quarter-staff combat, or by outsmarting them with deceit and disguise. To our delight, Robin's brawn and brains always come out on top at the end.
This book has stood the test of time and deserves respect for that, but it is also engaging even today. Howard Pyle's collection of Robin Hood's merry adventures is a classic that is constantly entertaining and exciting - one that you'll want to own and read over and over!
I have always been fascinated by the legend of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, but my interest has recently been renewed with the BBC television series Robin Hood. Although not true to the works of Howard Pyle, it is a fun 60 minute escape from the world.