The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a short story by Washington Irving was first published in 1820. I bought my secondhand copy of it very recently, for all of £2 and it’s illustrated by Arthur Rackham, he did that in 1928. I really like his style and have quite a few books illustrated by him. Washington Irving travelled around Europe and seems to have collected European fairy tales, which he rewrote with an Amercan setting.

I don’t think I had ever read this story before, I think I would have remembered if I had because the female character is a Katrina. The setting is a little valley which had originally been settled by Dutch people. A drowsy, dreamy atmosphere seems to permeate the place.

Ichabod Crane is the schoolmaster in Sleepy Hollow, he’s in love with Katrina van Tassel, a farmer’s daughter. Abraham von Brunt (Brom Brunt) is also in love with Katrina and he and his friends play pranks on Ichabod.

They tell him the tale of a headless horseman who haunts the area, and of course Ichabod ends up being chased by it.  After that he’s never seen again!



6 thoughts on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

  1. I did not remember her name was Katrina! My mother grew up near this part of New York which is about 40 minutes outside the city but I really haven’t spent much time there. I did go to a work-related golf tournament and because I do not golf or play tennis, I wandered around the gorgeous grounds and gazed at the views thinking about Washington Irving and area millionaires.

    • Constance,
      I must admit that I was really surprised that her name was Katrina as I think of it as a Scottish name with that spelling, and Katarina in Mediterranean countries, but Katrin in Scandinavian countries, it seems to be unheard of in the Netherlands.

  2. My niece and her family live in Sleepy Hollow. I never visit them without thinking of the story.

    • Joan,
      I remembered that someone in your family lived in Sleepy Hollow, until then I didn’t even realise that it was a real place!

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