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 some flavor of the ballads, and adapts it for children. The novel is notable for taking the subject of Robin Hood, which had been increasingly popular through the 19th century, in a new direction that influenced later writers, artists, and filmmakers through the next century.
The plot follows Robin Hood as he becomes an outlaw after a conflict with foresters and through his many adventures and runs with the law. Each chapter tells a different tale of Robin as he recruits Merry Men, resists the authorities, and aids his fellow man. The popular stories of Little John defeating Robin in a fight with staffs, of Robin's besting at the hands of Friar Tuck, and of his collusion with Allan-a-Dale all appear. In the end, Robin and his men are pardoned by King Richard the Lionheart and his band are incorporated into the king's retinue, much to the dismay of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Preface: from the author to the reader -- How Robin Hood came to be an outlaw -- Robin Hood and the tinker -- The shooting-match at Nottingham town -- Will Stutely rescued by his good companions -- Robin Hood turns butcher -- Little john goes to Nottingham fair -- How Little John lived at the sheriff's -- Little John and the tanner of Blyth -- Robin Hood and Will Scarlet -- The adventure with Midge the miller's son -- Robin Hood and Allan a Dale -- Robin seeketh the Curtal Friar -- Robin Hood compasses a marriage -- Robin Hood aids a sorrowful knight -- How Sir Richard of the Lea paid his debts -- Little John turns barefoot friar -- Robin Hood turns beggar -- Robin Hood shoots before Queen Eleanor -- The chase of Robin Hood -- Robin Hood and Guy of Gisbourne -- King Richard comes to Sherwood Forest -- Epilogue.