Horror rides astride a shadowy steed and fantastic beings haunt daylit settings in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Macabre Tales, a collection of the best weird fiction of Washington Irving. Blending sly humor with supernatural thrills, these tales are among the best loved of all American literature. In the thirteen stories gathered for this volume, Irving evokes the colorful landscapes of his Hudson Valley hometown, and conjures characters and creatures from its historical past for a unique kind of weird tale that speaks directly to America’s experience as a fledgling nation fashioning its own folk heritage. Selections include:
- “Rip Van Winkle”—When Rip bowls ninepins with the strange little men of the Kaatskills, he has no idea how high the stakes of the game will be.
- “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”—The Headless Horseman who haunts the Hudson River
- Valley finds his perfect victim in Ichabod Crane, a man as gullibly superstitious as he is book-learned.
- “The Adventure of the German Student”—How could the scholar know that the beautiful woman he rescued from the Reign of Terror was beyond saving in any mortal sense?
- “The Devil and Tom Walker”—When the Devil steers Tom Walker to the treasure of
- Captain Kidd, the mean-spirited miser uses his ill-gotten gains to ruin many a fellow countryman.
- “Guests of Gibbet Island”—The tipsy pirate boldly offered to host his dead comrades at his home, never imagining that they actually would take him up on it.
This volume includes several of Irving’s fanciful retellings of classic continental folktales and legends. As colorful and imaginative as any of his American tales, they reveal Irving to have been one of the most creative writers to have bridged the European and American gothic traditions.