The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Free eBook) by Washington Irving ( Author )
Click "View Sample" to read the whole book. No need to purchase. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a gothic story by American author Washington Irving, contained in his collection of 34 essays and short stories titled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Written while Irving was living abroad in Birmingham, England, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was first published in 1819. Along with Irving's companion piece Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is among the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity, especially during Halloween because of a character known as the Headless Horseman believed to be a Hessian soldier who was decapitated by a cannonball in battle. In 1949, the second film adaptation was produced by Walt Disney as one of two segments in the package film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen known as Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. Some residents say this town was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement, while others claim that the mysterious atmosphere was caused by an old Native American chief, the "wizard of his tribe ... before the country was discovered by Master Hendrik Hudson." Residents of the town are seemingly subjected to various supernatural and mysterious occurrences. They are subjected to trance like visions and frequented by strange sights, music, and voices "in the air." The inhabitants of Sleepy Hollow are fascinated by the "local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions" on account of the mysterious occurrences and haunting atmosphere. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow, and the "commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air," is the Headless Horseman. He is supposedly the restless ghost of a Hessian trooper whose head had been shot off by a stray cannonball during "some nameless battle" of the Revolution, and who "rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head". The "Legend" relates the tale of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut. Throughout his stay at Sleepy Hollow, Crane is able to make himself both "useful and agreeable" to the families that he lodges with. He occasionally assists with light farm work, helping to make hay, mend fences, caring for numerous farm animals, and cutting firewood. Besides his more dominant role as the Schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane also assists the various mothers of the town by helping to take care of their young children, taking on a more "gentle and ingratiating" role. Crane is also quite popular among the women of the town for his education and his talent for "carrying the whole budget of local gossip," which makes him a welcomed sight within female circles. As a firm believer in witchcraft and the like, Crane has an unequaled "appetite for the marvelous," which is only increased by his stay in "the spell-bound region" of Sleepy Hollow. A source of "fearful pleasure" for Crane is to visit the Old Dutch wives and listen to their "marvelous tales of ghosts and goblins," haunted locations, and the tales of the Headless Horseman, or the "Galloping Hessian of the Hollow, as they sometimes called him." Throughout the story, Ichabod Crane competes with Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy and local hero, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of wealthy farmer Baltus Van Tassel. Ichabod Crane, a Yankee and an outsider, sees marriage to Katrina as a means of procuring Van Tassel's extravagant wealth. Brom, unable to force Ichabod into a physical showdown to settle things, plays a series of pranks on the superstitious schoolmaster. The tension among the three continues for some time, and is soon brought to a head. On a placid autumn night, the ambitious Crane attends a harvest party at the Van Tassels' homestead. He dances, partakes in the feast, and listens to ghostly legends told by Brom and the locals, but his true aim is to propose to Katrina after the guests leave. His intentions, however, are ill-fated, as he fails to secure Katrina's hand.
Children Collections Literature & Fiction Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
File Size 298.65 KB
RM 999.99
RM 999.99
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