Author(s): Washington Irving
Travel back in time to the days before the American Revolution, when Dutch settlers populated the little towns along the Hudson River and ghosts roamed the mountains and river valleys. In "Rip Van Winkle," a henpecked husband escapes his nagging wife by wandering the Catskills, where he encounters some mysterious mountain men and tastes a strange brew with unexpected effects. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" recounts schoolmaster Ichabod Crane's dream of marrying a wealthy farmer's daughter. But Ichabod's ambitions take a sudden turn with his terrifying late-night encounter with the dreaded Headless Horseman. In addition to these famous fables by Washington Irving, America's first popular author, the collection includes two other short stories: "The Spectre Bridegroom," a tale of an arranged marriage that comes to a chilling conclusion; and "Mountjoy," in which a bookish young man discovers romance and learns a real-life lesson.
Washington Irving (1783-1859) was born in New York City, the youngest of 11 children. He became an author, essayist, poet, travel writer, biographer, and columnist and is renowned as the father of the American short story. He is best known for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, both of which appear in this collection. One of his greatest biographies includes The Life of George Washington (1855-59).