Cover image for The legend of Sleepy Hollow and other stories
The legend of Sleepy Hollow and other stories
Irving, Washington, 1783-1859.
Uniform Title:
Sketch-book of Geoffrey Crayon, gent. Selections
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : G.K. Hall, [2001]
Physical Description:
267 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Selections from: The sketch-book of Geoffrey Crayon, gent.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 11.0 3.0 7115.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print - Closed Stacks

On Order



When the sixteen stories collected here first were published in 1819, readers in America and abroad greeted them with enthusiasm, and Irving emerged as America's first successful professional author. Some of the pieces are gently ironic, reflecting the author's interest in the traditions of the Old World and his longings for his home in the New. But it is in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow that Irving exhibits his true strength: the ability to depict American landscapes and culture so vividly that readers feel themselves a part of them.

Author Notes

Washington Irving, one of the first Americans to achieve international recognition as an author, was born in New York City in 1783. His A History of New York, published in 1809 under the name of Diedrich Knickerbocker, was a satirical history of New York that spanned the years from 1609 to 1664. Under another pseudonym, Geoffrey Crayon, he wrote The Sketch-book, which included essays about English folk customs, essays about the American Indian, and the two American stories for which he is most renowned--"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle."

Irving served as a member of the U.S. legation in Spain from 1826 to 1829 and as minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846. Following his return to the U.S. in 1846, he began work on a five-volume biography of Washington that was published from 1855-1859.

Washington Irving died in 1859 in New York.



The Author's Account of Himself I am of this mind with Homer, that as the snaile that crept out of her shel was turned eftsoones into a Toad, and thereby was forced to make a stoole to sit on; so the traveller that stragleth from his owne country is in a short time transformed into so monstrous a shape that he is faine to alter his mansion with his manners and to live where he can, not where he would. I was always fond of visiting new scenes and observing strange characters and manners. Even when a mere child I began my travels and made many tours of discovery into foreign parts and unknown regions of my native city; to the frequent alarm of my parents and the emolument of the town cryer. As I grew into boyhood I extended the range of my observations. My holy day afternoons were spent in rambles about the surrounding country. I made myself familiar with all its places famous in history or fable. I knew every spot where a murder or robbery had been committed or a ghost seen. I visited the neighbouring villages and added greatly to my stock of knowledge, by noting their habits and customs, and conversing with their sages and great men. I even journeyed one long summer's day to the summit of the most distant hill, from whence I stretched my eye over many a mile of terra incognita, and was astonished to find how vast a globe I inhabited. This rambling propensity strengthened with my years. Books of voyages and travels became my passion, and in devouring their contents I neglected the regular exercises of the school. How wistfully would I wander about the pier heads in fine weather, and watch the parting ships, bound to distant climes. With what longing eyes would I gaze after their lessening sails, and waft myself in imagination to the ends of the earth. Further reading and thinking, though they brought this vague inclination into more reasonable bounds, only served to make it more decided. I visited various parts of my own country, and had I been merely a lover of fine scenery, I should have felt little desire to seek elsewhere its gratification, for on no country have the charms of nature been more prodigally lavished. Her mighty lakes, like oceans of liquid silver; her mountains with their bright aerial tints; her valleys teeming with wild fertility; her tremendous cataracts thundering in their solitudes; her boundless plains waving with spontaneous verdure; her broad deep rivers, rolling in solemn silence to the ocean; her trackless forests, where vegetation puts forth all its magnificence; her skies kindling with the magic of summer clouds and glorious sunshine-no, never need an American look beyond his own country for the sublime and beautiful of natural scenery. But Europe held forth the charms of storied and poetical association. There were to be seen the masterpieces of art, the refinements of highly cultivated society, the quaint peculiarities of ancient and local custom. My native country was full of youthful promise; Europe was rich in the accumulated treasures of age. Her very ruins told the history of times gone by, and every mouldering stone was a chronicle. I longed to wander over the scenes of renowned achievement-to tread as it were in the footsteps of antiquity-to loiter about the ruined castle-to meditate on the falling tower-to escape in short, from the commonplace realities of the present, and lose myself among the shadowy grandeurs of the past. Excerpted from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
A Note on the Textp. xxiii
Preface to the Revised Edition (1848)p. 3
The Author's Account of Himselfp. 8
The Voyagep. 11
Roscoep. 16
The Wifep. 22
Rip Van Winklep. 28
English Writers on Americap. 43
Rural Life in Englandp. 50
The Broken Heartp. 56
The Art of Book Makingp. 61
A Royal Poetp. 67
The Country Churchp. 79
The Widow and Her Sonp. 83
A Sunday in Londonp. 89
The Boar's Head Tavern, East Cheapp. 91
The Mutability of Literaturep. 100
Rural Funeralsp. 109
The Inn Kitchenp. 119
The Spectre Bridegroomp. 121
Westminster Abbeyp. 134
Christmasp. 147
The Stage Coachp. 153
Christmas Evep. 159
Christmas Dayp. 169
The Christmas Dinnerp. 180
London Antiquesp. 192
Little Britainp. 197
Stratford-on-Avonp. 209
Traits of Indian Characterp. 225
Philip of Pokanoketp. 234
John Bullp. 248
The Pride of the Villagep. 257
The Anglerp. 264
The Legend of Sleepy Hollowp. 272
L'Envoyp. 298
Appendix A "Prospectus" to the First American Editionp. 301
Appendix B "Advertisement" to the First British Editionp. 303
Notesp. 305
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 337