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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle (Great Illustrated Classics) Hardcover – 1995

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Biographical Note Irving was born in New York on April 3, 1783. His father had come from the extreme north of Scotland, his mother from the extreme south of England; they had become American citizens by the fact of the Revolution a few years before the birth of their son. The elder Irving, a well-to-do merchant, destined the future author for the law, and he was in fact later called to the bar, though he practiced little. But his legal education was interrupted by an illness which led to a stay of two years in Europe. After he came home in 1806, he joined with his brother and J. K. Paulding in the production of the satirical miscellany, “Salmagundi,” and in 1809 published his first important work, “A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty” by “Diedrich Knickerbocker.” In 1815 Irving went to England on business, but he was unsuccessful in averting the disaster which threatened the commercial house in which he was a partner, and when he turned to writing again it was as a profession rather than as an amusement. His “Sketch Book” came out in 1819–1820, and was followed by “Bracebridge Hall” in 1822 and “Tales of a Traveller” in 1824. These works met with gratifying success, and the author was now able to indulge in farther travel. During a prolonged residence at Madrid, he wrote his “Life and Voyages of Columbus,” and, after a sojourn in the south of Spain, his “Conquest of Granada” (1829) and “The Alhambra” (1832). Meantime he was appointed secretary to the American Embassy at London, a post which he held for three years. When he returned to America in 1832 after an absence of seventeen years, he was welcomed with great enthusiasm by his countrymen, who appreciated what he had done for the prestige of American literature in Europe. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Abdo Pub Co (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0866119965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0866119962
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ash Ryan on December 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Godly Gadfly on July 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Washington Irving's (1783-1859) claim to fame is as a pioneer of American fiction, and he is widely recognized as the "father of American literature." The book that especially propelled him to fame was "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent." which contained his two most famous fantasy stories - "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - both of which are contained in this collection.
But it is not merely his ground-breaking efforts that garnered him literary recognition, because Irving's stories are at the same time characterized by charming and colourful prose befitting a skilled writer. The two stories in this collection (the "Dover Thrift" edition) are his two most famous stories and are an excellent sampling of his craft. It's not always easy reading - in fact these stories would be too dense even for most older children. His vocabulary is extensive, and sentences structure verbose and lengthy - a style rather unlike that employed by contemporary writers. But despite this, Irving demonstrates a wonderful command of the English language, and has the ability to create a vivid picture of his setting, characters and events. Particularly delightful is the attention he devotes to describing his characters. And yet his stories are far from mere character portraits - they are exciting and enchanting tales that make the reader eager to find out the outcome.
"Rip Van Winkle" has gained the status of a classic, and is familiar to most children, but likely few have read Irving's original. It breathes an authenticity and air not found in the contemporary abridged versions of the story. Irving presents his tale as the alleged discovered manuscript (complete with postscript) of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sillygirl412 on June 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
First off, this review is of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle" published by Dover Children's Thrift Classics, $.... While most reviews might concentrate on the merits of the stories themselves, this review is meant to support the benefits of purchasing this particular edition over others.
That said, the first thing I would like to comment on is the price. You can't ask for more of a bargain that to pay less than a ... of America's most popular and well known Revolutionary War era stories. Great for anyone on a budget, or parents who want to expand their child's library but don't want to break the bank on something they may only read once. ....
Secondly, I would like to mention that this book contains BOTH "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" AND "Rip Van Winkle" in their respective unabridged entirety. Both are relatively short, entertaining, and easy-to-read stories that supply a great introduction to period literature, beliefs, and storytelling for children and adults alike. While these are not Washington Irving's only writings, they are perhaps the most well-known.
As a former teacher, I have the following suggestion: If you live in the New York metro area, this book would be an excellent jumping off point for a trip to Washington Irving's homestead, "Sunnyside", in Tarrytown, NY, for which you can find plenty of information online. There are several other "living history" sites in the area as well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven Fantina on May 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
These two timeless classics are presented in a very attractive package. The print is large. A few sketches accent the narratives, and obviously the writing is first-rate. Older children will likely enjoy these tales, and any adult who is familiar with both stories, but never actually read them should pick up a copy in the very near future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Brandt @ Audiobook-Heaven on July 19, 2013
Format: Audible Audio Edition
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is, without a doubt, the most famous ghost story in all the world. Mention the name of Ichabod Crane to just about anyone, and you will most likely get a tale of the headless horseman, in one form or another. I think this is the first time I've heard the story in its original form, and I am very glad to have heard it. Washington Irving has a writing style that is at once beautiful and plain. It reminds me a lot of Mark Twain's style. Maybe that should be the other way around since The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was written almost 60 years before Tom Sawyer.

In this Recorded Books edition, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is packaged together with another Washington Irving tale, Rip Van Winkle, in a 3 CD set. Both stories were written in 1819, and both have become timeless classics of American folklore.

In my own humble opinion, George Guidall is the finest audiobook narrator there is. He really has a way of bringing a story to life, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle were no exceptions. I particularly enjoyed his voice for the elderly Rip Van Winkle. These stories are in the public domain and there are many many audio editions to choose from, but you just can't beat George Guidall.

If you're looking for a creepy little audiobook to listen to this Halloween, you've just found it. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is sure to tingle your spine, and chill your bones, and Rip Van Winkle is a nice bonus.
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