Monday, 26 April 2010

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ~ Washington Irving

Ichabod Crane is a school teacher who enjoys telling and listening to ghost stories. And the part of New England where he resides, Sleepy Hollow, is filled with tales of spooks and specters and most famous of all: a headless man who rides on a horse at night.

Ichabod tries to court the most sought after beauty in the county: Katrina Van Tassel. Ms. Van Tassel is warm to Ichabod’s feelings, but she is also being wooed by “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, Ichabod’s rival.

Both Crane and Van Brunt are invited to a party given by Katrina’s father. Many scary stories are told the night of the autumn festival, and Ichabod was rather skittish when he left the Van Tassel farm. Not long into his journey home he finds that he is being pursued by the notorious Headless Horseman himself! Ichabod is so frightened by his late-night encounter with an actual ghost that he leaves Sleepy Hollow, never to return.
Because of this book’s history, and the fact that it is so famous, I was expecting a long story filled with adventure and intrigue. You can imagine my surprise then when I discovered that Mr. Irving’s well-known tale is a short story! Its lack of pages though was no indication of its plethora of words. Washington Irving used so many archaic terms that I had to have a Post-It note and pencil next to me at all times so I could write down all the unknown words I found to look up later. And his style of writing is out-of-date which made it difficult to read. I would only suggest reading this story so you can say, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Oh, yes. I’ve read it.” You’re probably better off just watching the movie.

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