Washington Irving is known as the creator of Rip Van Wrinkle and the Headless Horseman, but I never knew he was America’s first famous author and had penned many other short stories. It was fascinating to read about his popularity not only in America, but across the sea in England. The Penguin Classics release of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories was a wonderful introduction to this overlooked and forgotten author.
Irving’s Christmas short stories were some of my favorites, with the footnotes adding a wonderful depth and behind-the-scenes look at the history of his writing. Reading his stories, I can see how Charles Dickens was a fan and paid homage to Irving through his work. These stories showcased Washington Irving’s wry sense of humor and are a great addition to the collection of anyone who enjoys early American literature. I also found it interesting to read about the history behind Penguin Classics, and I will appreciate my copies even more now.
The timeless collection that introduced Rip Van Winkle, Ichabod Crane, and the Headless Horseman
Perhaps the marker of a true mythos is when the stories themselves overshadow their creator. Originally published under a pseudonym as The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories gave America its own haunted mythology. This collection of larger-than-life tales contains Washington Irving’s best-known literary inventions?Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman, and Rip Van Winkle?that continue to capture our imaginations today.