The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Writings (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Writings (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.5 268
by Washington Irving
     
 

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The first great American man of letters, Washington Irving became an international celebrity almost overnight upon publication of The Sketch Book in 1820, which included the short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.” These two tales remain his crowning achievement, but in addition to being a writer of

Overview

The first great American man of letters, Washington Irving became an international celebrity almost overnight upon publication of The Sketch Book in 1820, which included the short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.” These two tales remain his crowning achievement, but in addition to being a writer of short stories, Irving was also an acclaimed essayist, travel writer, biographer, and historian.

This volume showcases Irving’s best work across a variety of genres, including whimsical newspaper articles about New York society, the theater, and contemporary fashions; charming travel pieces that evocatively weave together history and legend; humorous stories and satirical essays from The Sketch-Book and its sequel Bracebridge Hall, and excerpts from A History of New York, considered the first great American book of comic literature. The author’s success enabled him to earn a living by writing alone, unheard of for an American at that time.

Irving’s energetic, often tongue-in-cheek prose style, together with his ability to blend roguish satire, pathos, and picturesque description, had a profound influence upon the popular culture of his day. His writings have become a cornerstone in the foundation of the American literary tradition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593082253
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
02/01/2006
Series:
Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
49,247
Product dimensions:
5.26(w) x 7.96(h) x 1.37(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Peter Norberg’s Introduction to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Writings

In April 1789, George Washington arrived in New York City for his inauguration as the first president of the newly formed republic of the United States. He met with a hero’s welcome. In the weeks that followed, well-wishers and admirers regularly approached him in the streets, among them a Scottish-born woman who cornered him in a shop on Broadway. Drawing before her a six-year-old child, she exclaimed, “Please, Your Excellency, here’s a bairn that’s called after ye.” It was Washington Irving. In retrospect, the scene seemed prophetic. Later in life, after having established a reputation as the first American man of letters, Irving recalled in an interview how Washington “laid his hand upon my head, and gave me his blessing.” Three generations after the Revolutionary War, George Washington was revered as the father of our country. Irving likewise was recognized as a founding father of America’s national literature.

Such a title might strike today’s reader as an exaggeration. Irving’s best-known characters, Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane, do not seem substantial enough to serve as foundational figures in an American literary tradition. However, the stories Irving set in Sleepy Hollow, a secluded village in the Hudson River Valley, provided American culture with a local habitation and a name. Along with James Fenimore Cooper and William Cullen Bryant, Irving was one of America’s pioneer writers. He helped sketch the contours of a cultural landscape that was unique to the United States, not a pale imitation of the literature of England and Europe. Sleepy Hollow is an early example of American authors self-consciously setting out to create an imaginative space for artistic creativity. Nathaniel Hawthorne described this sort of space in his introduction to The Scarlet Letter as “a neutral territory, somewhere between the real-world and fairy-land, where the Actual and the Imaginary may meet, and each imbue itself with the nature of the other.” By providing such a “neutral territory” for his readers, Irving contributed to the new nation’s efforts to generate a collective cultural memory from native sources.

Meet the Author

Peter Norberg received his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1998. Since 1997 he has been Assistant Professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. A specialist on the writers associated with the transcendentalist movement, he has written and lectured extensively on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and the critical reaction to transcendentalism in the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.

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Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Writings (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 268 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is not only a good premise for a Disney cartoon or a Johnny Deppy film, it's also a fantastic and carefully nuanced tale of the dealings and deceptions in an isolated community in Upstate New York. Washington Irving conveys just the right amount of humor and mystery and you cannot help but feel that he is laughing at you the whole time. It's a short novel, but as you finish the last line, you'll find yourself closing the book with a shiver and a smile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some may find this book too scary for their children, but, believe me, it's an American classic that shouldn't go unread by any child.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Writing this review pre-read. First thing, just like many others, is that I could not find "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" in the table of contents or the book. However! Upon further inspection it is clearly listed in the table of contents in the list for The Sketch-Book; in my paperback edition it is on page 162 (the story itself). I passed over it many times because I thought it should have been at the beginning considering the title of this collection, however that is not the case, but it is in fact there and can be found. Considering the rest of the collection contained within, this should be a fantastic read! Only lost a star for that 'mixup,' not for content.
Tamara Valenzuela More than 1 year ago
You can find this story on page 172...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WARNING: This sample is not what it seems! If you're like me, and when you run out of money you just get the samples, then DO NOT GET THE SAMPLE!!! It gets cut out before Rip Van Winkle and Sleepy Hollow (which are the only stories in this book that anyone would want to read.) Sample gets zero stars. Real version has not yet been read by me...
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This book is creepy and amazing
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Erin_W More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent introduction to the works of Washington Irving. There are fiction stories but also essays, some of which are mildly fictionized themselves. (Irving would often attribute his ramblings to characters like Geoffrey Crayon and Diedrich Knickerbocker. If those names make you giggle, Irving is the author for you.) "Sleepy Hollow" is indeed in there, as is "Rip Van Winkle" and my favorite, "Dolph Heyliger." They are hidden amongst other stories but clearly labeled in the interior table of contents. They are all excellent early looks at the American Gothic tradition. One drawback to a select collection like this is that the stories in Bracebridge Hall and Tales of a Traveller are interconnected--one story leads to the next and so on, One Thousand and One Nights-style--and without all of them being included here, there are breaks in the connection. The end notes indicate when this is happening, but if you're skipping the notes (as I sometimes do) it's jarring.
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I read the free sample and i liked it so far
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