The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle (Dover Children's Thrift Classics)

by Washington Irving

Paperback, 1995



Local notes

PB Irv



Dover Publications (1995), 80 pages


Two stories from the Catskill Mountains: one featuring a man who sleeps for twenty years, waking to a much-changed world and the other, a superstitious schoolmaster who encounters a headless horseman.


Original language


Physical description

80 p.; 5.25 inches


0146000714 / 9780146000713





User reviews

LibraryThing member HollyinNNV
Aside from Disney’s adaptation of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I have never been exposed to Irving’s writing. In the early 1800’s, Irving published The Sketch Book which contained Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. While Irving did create a large body of writings, he is now most remembered for these two famous stories.
Both of these stories contain a distinct element of myth and legend. They are also clear reminders of how early Americans were often intensely interested in the supernatural and various rituals to bring good luck. These ghostly beliefs were readily adopted into their religious practices or often practiced side by side with religion.
Irving is entertainingly humorous and a master craftsman. In one witty moment his deftly describes a peaceful barnyard scene, detailing each serene animal. In the next moment he describes how the main character, Ichabod Crane, is fantasizing the way in which each of these animals might be cooked for as a culinary delight.
The language of the stories is charming and masterfully bring life to the plot.
“At the foot of these fairy mountains, the voyager may have descried the light smoke curling up from a village, whose shingle-roofs gleam among the trees, just where the blue tints of the upland melt away into the fresh green of the nearer landscape.”-Rip Van Winkle
“T0 turn and fly was now too late; and besides, what chance was there of escaping ghost or goblin, if such it was, which could ride upon the wings of the wind?”-The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
It is worth noting that Irving does mention, as almost an afterthought, the presence of black slaves. At one point in the story he references a black character as making more of themselves than they should, as most black people do. (paraphrasing Irving) In another part of the story he adds the slaves in as a detail of setting. They peer in at the party from a window. It would be worthwhile to bring these details into comparison with a black person’s recollection of everyday life at this time period. For I am sure that the tone and point of view would be much different. A fantastic contrast would be that of Frederick Douglas’s autobiography.
In summary, I enjoyed both stories and highly recommend them. As light entertainment, they are truly delightful. As part of a larger study of the early American lifestyle, they are also beneficial.
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LibraryThing member MartinBodek
When I started getting into this book, I thought to myself "This is what it would look like if Hitchens or Payne wrote fiction." Then I realized what the common thread was between Irving and these two: complete wizardesque mastery of the English language compounded with the gift for selecting the most proper phrase or word for the narrative. Let alone that I enjoyed the stories from that perspective, that they were out-of-whole-cloth archetypes was a wonderful bonus. I enjoyed very much.… (more)
LibraryThing member marsap
This book contained probably the most famous novellas/short stories by Washington Irving—the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. In the first of these stories from the Catskill Mountains (based on some of the folktales of the people of the area), a superstitious schoolmaster encounters a headless horseman; in the second, a man sleeps for twenty years, waking to a much-changed world. Both stories were fun, somewhat eerie and relatively short. I think both stories give a nice illustration of 19th century literature and a nice description of the Hudson Valley and it’s Dutch settlers. 3 out of 5 stars.… (more)
LibraryThing member hahnasay
A classic. Everyone should read this at least once.
LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
These are tales I've known for years, but have never really read for myself. I've either read retellings written for children or viewed film adaptions. The originals, of course, are so much better. You have the classic plots, of course, which have captured people's imaginations for generations, and you also have Mr. Irving's rich description of the characters and the settings. These engage the adult heart and mind, as much as the simplified tales reach the inner child's sense of wonder. Once again I find myself wondering why I don't read more classic literature.
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LibraryThing member bun65
This book have two story,Rip Van Winkle and The lagend of Sleepy Hollow.
I like former. The story's stage is American small town,and main charactor is Rip.
Rip meets a strange man and he is a little different experience.
I was surprised at Rip spend time twenty years.
I didn't understand strange man's identity,but I think it sounds too good to put the mind is better.
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LibraryThing member chisatoh
I watched movie of Sleepy Hollow before I read this book. It's because I like Johnny depp :)
I think movie is better than book since this book is too short !
I want to know what happend to Ichabod..
LibraryThing member AshRyan
If you're like me, you basically know these stories from the many retellings of them in various media, but never actually got around to reading the originals written by Washington Irving. I finally did, and found it well worth doing. Irving is a fine writer, and puts in many details that make these stories much more vivid than in any other version I've heard and bring them to life. They also give fascinating glimpses into early American life, as when Rip Van Winkle declares his allegiance to King George and is nearly strung up by an angry mob. There is a reason these stories have become iconic, and that is because the originals drew these characters and their tales so brilliantly, much more so than any of the second-hand (and usually second-rate) versions.… (more)
LibraryThing member particle_p
It was fun to reread this before visiting Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and the infamous bridge. I went the week after Halloween and the foliage was gorgeous. Irving's grave is in the cemetery in a tiny fenced-off portion with his relatives. It's easy to imagine what it must have been like in earlier centuries, with just the hush and the sun shining through leaves.… (more)
LibraryThing member AVoraciousReader
*Book source ~ Local library

I picked up a few copies of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at the library because my daughter had to read it for her AP English class. I chose a few copies because I wasn’t sure which one she’d want to read and of the four I read the one with Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. My husband decided to read one of the others and my daughter chose yet another. The boys read the last copy, so all the books got some reading love.

The copy I read is from 1967. It is a large print with illustrations, but there is no ISBN and I can’t find it anywhere online to link this exact copy. Anyway…it’s hard to believe I haven’t read either of these stories. Heard about them, yes. Actually read them, no. I’m not all that big on classics, but I found both of these stories ok. I did enjoy the extra background in both stories as I could only remember the bare bones of each tale. I do wonder what happened to Ichabod Crane though. Did the pumpkin in the face kill him and he was buried out in the woods? Or was he so scared he took off, even without his stuff? As far as Rip Van Winkle goes, no wonder his wife nagged him. He was a lazy worthless guy and his son didn’t fall far from the tree.
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LibraryThing member Buffy-Tinkes
Worth the read, only for the simple fact that the two stories are those that almost everyone knows from childhood but have not really read themselves. Mr. Irving writes with the eloquent and visual style of his time and it’s a refreshing brake from our modern style.




(98 ratings; 3.6)
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