The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Anthony Heald (Narrator)
Audiobook, Duration: 01:17:34
Published January 1st, 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks
(first published 1820)

In the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town, New York, in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane arrives to educate the children of the region. This lanky schoolmaster from Connecticut fancies the idea of marrying the beautiful Katrina Van Tassel, the eighteen-year-old daughter of a wealthy farmer, but there is a problem with his plan. Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy, has already set his heart on marrying her.

This romantic rivalry climaxes one autumn night with the appearance of the legendary Headless Horseman, allegedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper who lost his head to a cannonball during the Revolutionary War. Every night he rides through the woods to the scene of the battle in search of his head.

Since this story's first appearance in 1820, generations of readers, young and old, have thrilled to the headless horseman galloping through the haunted woods of Sleepy Hollow. The rollicking tale of Ichabod Crane and his ill-fated courtship of Katrina Van Tassel has become a classic ghost story.

My thoughts…

This short story was simply pleasurable, and I didn’t expect to enjoy it quite so much. I’ve seen the various movie adaptations over the years and figured there wasn’t really anything more to be gained by listening to this as an audiobook version. I was wrong, the eloquence of the written word brought the legend up to a whole other level for me. My husband downloaded the Kindle version and finished it in one evening.

This is the tale of Ichabod Crane the schoolmaster, his attempt to woo heiress Katrina Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow, also known as Tarry Town, New York. The story focuses on Ichabod’s futile attempt to win Katrina away from Brom Bones, which only angers Brom, causing him to woo Katrina as well.

“I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration.”
― Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Everyone is probably familiar with the tale of the Headless Horseman and Sleepy Hollow; it was interesting listening to the original version of the tale, especially so close to Halloween.

“ All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many spectres in his time, and been more than once beset by Satan in divers shapes, in his lonely pre-ambulations, yet daylight put an end to all these evils; and he would have passed a pleasent life of it, in despite of the devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was - a woman.”
― Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


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