Friday 26 April 2019

Book Review: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving (Classic)

Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories
Author: Washington Irving
Penguin Classics

Publication Date: 1999 (1819)

In The Sketch-Book (1820-21), Irving explores the uneasy relationship of an American writer to English literary traditions. In two sketches, he experiments with tales transplanted from Europe, thereby creating the first classic American short stories, Rip Van Winkle, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Based on Irving's final revision of his most popular work, this new edition includes comprehensive explanatory notes of The Sketch-Book's sources for the modern reader.

I had previously read Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow but the other stories in this collection were new to me. Overall, I enjoyed them, particularly Irving's thoughts on his time in England--its places and traditions. Of course, Sleepy Hollow remains the jewel in the crown, and I enjoyed revisiting this tale in its original format and style. Ichabod Crane is such a memorable character.

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