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Dorothy W.

Interesting -- I didn't know Irving is considered a creator of the short story, well the American one. I really didn't know any name at all for the first short story writer. If I had to guess, I would have said Poe. I should read this story -- especially since I live kind of close to Sleepy Hollow!


I just finished it last night and it was the first time I have actually read the story as well. I was familiar with the cartoon version we saw in the 3rd grade and that was it. For some reason the image I had in my head kept alternating between the goofy looking cartoon guy and Johnny Depp. I really did like the writing though. This was the first of Irving's work I've read and I will certainly try more.


Dorothy--I didn't realize one person "created" the short story either, but both the biographical sketch of Irving and the intro made a point of mentioning this. Ichabod is from Connecticut by the way! I didn't realize that Sleepy Hollow was actually a place--It was interesting to read what Irving's inspirations for the story/character were. I was wondering if this is something the Hobgoblin might teach since he does a lot of American lit?
Sam--I don't remember seeing a cartoon and I haven't seen the Johnny Depp movie (though I might check it out now), so I didn't have any idea in my head of what anyone might look like. Irving did a good job describing things well, though. I really enjoyed the story!


That's a wonderful passage you quoted! If I remember correctly, didn't Irving live in Granada, Spain for sometime? I wonder if this was indeed a bit of an homage to D.Q. Anyway, another one to add to the list.
Oh and do check out the Johnny Depp movie. It's very good.


Och that does sound atmospheric! The perfect story for All Hallows Eve. :-)

A quick trip to Wikipedia tells me that Irving wrote the story in Birmingham, England, which made me smile since I can't think of anywhere less like Sleepy Hollow. But if Wiki is to be trusted it was published in 1820, which leads me to this questions: were there 'famous' American authors in the 18th century? Now I set to thinking about it, I can't name a single one...

Ann Darnton

I suspect that in the UK we know this story best through the film and yet when I saw that I found I already knew the name Ichabod Crane. Perhaps, given that I live in Birmingham, there is some sort of spectral remembrance of the writing act floating in the air.

Nancy Dwinell

I really have to reread this story and others by Irving. Thanks for reminding me to put it on the list. I also live near Sleepy Hollow,Dorothy! I'm in Yorktown. In fact my son's Cub Scout Den's chapter patch depicted the Headless Horseman!Any way, I haven't read Irving in quite some time but will look for a collection of the short stories.Nancy


Definitely one of my faves! I have a book of Irving's writings that I need to get around to...


Iliana--I don't know much about Irving himself, but it sounds like he did travel abroad. He certainly seems to have come across DQ somewhere in his reading or travels. Ichabod sort of reminded me of DQ as a matter of fact! I will have to check out the Depp movie (since I have always thougt he is rather easy on the eyes...).
Victoria--Yes, it is a great story for this time of year. I didn't realize that he wrote this when he was in England--how interesting. As for 18th c. popular American novels--this sounds like a question for Dorothy. I think people like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson were writing (albeit political works) and would think they were popular/famous, but you probably mean novels? Irving was writing then (but did he write novels?). I can actually think of one woman who was supposedly very popular at the time (though not well known now--I only know of her as I bought a Modern Library edition of one of her books)--Susanna Rowson wrote a book called Charlotte Temple which was the big thing at the time. I guess America was still too new at the time--in comparing what British and European authors were up to as opposed to Americans. I really need to study more American authors/Lit....
Ann--No doubt Irving would be pleased to know this...:)
Nancy--What fun. Have you ever been there? It sounds as though the church and bridge are still there that play such a prominent role in the story. I'd love to visit some of these places. Don't you also know the place Lizzie Borden lived? No wonder ghost stories seem to thrive up there!
LK--Now it is one of mine, too! I'm so glad I finally read it, and I hope I do pick up the collection of stories to read some more. Perhaps I should give Rip Van Winkle a read--I guess that is his other famous one.


I loved Sleepy Hollow as a story and later as a movie by Tim Burton. I had no clue Sleepy Hollow actually existed somewhere! Have you read anything else by Washington Irving that is as much fun as this story?


My children, 35 and 39, still read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” by Washington Irving every Halloween. My twelve-year-old grandson can repeat the story to you word for word. They grew up on the Likes of Washington Irving…

Nancy Dwinell

Yes,Dani! I grew up in Fall River Ma, home of Lizzie B. and now I live a few towns away from Sleepy Hollow! I guess it's only natural that I love mysteries! I've been by the church many times. Will have to look for the bridge. Washington Irving's home, Sunnyside, is also worth a visit. It's lovely. Nancy


By all means, give Rip a try!

I'm sure you've read Hawthorne, too -- I highly recommend Rappacini's Daughter and Young Goodman Brown for some early American atmosphere!


Smithereens--This is my first Irving, but I want to read Rip Van Winkle, too. Actually I'd like to read others of his stories as well. I plan on watching the movie, too!
Edd--I can easily see why they would read it each year. Perhaps I will make it a tradition, too. How cool that you grandson knows it by heart!
nancy--How cool to be so close to such literary, and historical sights!!
LK--I have that Nathaniel Hawthorne book--I knew that someone recommended it to me. I hope to read it soon!

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