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Legend of Sleepy Hollow (World Digital Library Edition)

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Legend of Sleepy Hollow (World Digital Library Edition)

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Few novels can claim the influential power to change fantasy into fact, but in 1996 a mere sketch (a predecessor to the short story) did just that. North Tarrytown, New York long acknowledged to be the...
Few novels can claim the influential power to change fantasy into fact, but in 1996 a mere sketch (a predecessor to the short story) did just that. North Tarrytown, New York long acknowledged to be the...
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Description-
  • Few novels can claim the influential power to change fantasy into fact, but in 1996 a mere sketch (a predecessor to the short story) did just that. North Tarrytown, New York long acknowledged to be the inspiration for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. The haunting tale featured in Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. contributed to it being one of the first American books to gain international readership.

    Like most ghost stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow seduces the reader not just with breathless suspense, but also with splices of an uncertain love story. Katerina Van Tassel has come of age, but while her father wants her to marry Ichabod Crane, a distasteful schoolmaster, she merely flirts with him as a means of stirring to action Brom Bones (Abraham Van Brunt), her preferred suitor. The Headless Horseman rips through Sleepy Hollow, terrorizing the town, and leaving the reader to question whether the ghost Ichabod Crane sees is actually Brom Bones, a skilled horseman masquerading with a lighted jack-o-lantern.
Excerpts-
  • From the Book IN the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market-town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market-days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail, or tapping of a woodpecker, is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.

    I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades one side of the valley. I had wandered into it at noon-time, when all nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun, as it broke the Sabbath stillness around, and was prolonged and reverberated by the angry echoes. If ever I should wish for a retreat, whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley.
About the Author-
  • Washington Irving was born in New York City on April 30, 1783 – the same year the Treaty of Paris put an official end to the American Revolution. When he was as young as nineteen years old, Irving began to contribute satirical essays and sketches to New York newspapers. In 1815, he went to Liverpool, England, as a silent partner in his brothers’ commercial firm, and remained there after the firm went bankrupt in 1818. Under the pen name “Geoffrey Crayon,” he wrote a number of essays and short stories. From 1826-1829, he was with the United States diplomatic staff in Madrid, and returned to Spain in 1842 after being appointed the American minister to Madrid. After leaving Spain in 1846, Irving returned to his country home near Tarrytown, New York, where he died in 1859.
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    Barnes & Noble World Digital Library
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Legend of Sleepy Hollow (World Digital Library Edition)
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