Short Story Sunday: Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

sssFirst Line: “In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I am totally in love with Sleepy Hollow. It’s completely bonkers, but in the best possible way, and is definitely my favorite new show of the season. With that in mind, I decided to take a look back at the original, Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Two decades on, my strongest association with the story is through the Disney cartoon, which scared the shit out of me when I was little. I think I did read the story in high school, but if so I barely remembered it.

Turns out “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is much funnier than I ever remembered. Irving has a strong eye for setting, but an even stronger one for character, and it is those characters, from hapless Ichabod to mercurial Katrina and boisterous Brom Bones that carry the story.

You can read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” here.


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