The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent

The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent

by Washington Irving

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Overview

Includes the classic stories "Rip Van Winkle", "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and other famous favorites.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604507492
Publisher: Serenity Publishers
Publication date: 10/16/2009
Pages: 302
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)

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The Sketch-Book Of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. [I.E. W. Irving] 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When school hours were over, he was even the companion and playmate of the larger boys; and on holiday afternoons would convoy some of the smaller ones home, who happened to have pretty sisters, or good housewives for mothers, noted for the comforts of the cupboard. Indeed, it behooved him to keep on good terms with his pupils. The revenue arising from his school was small, and would have been scarcely sufficient to furnish him with daily bread, for he was a huge feeder, and, though lank, had the dilating powers of an anaconda; but to help out his maintenance, he was, according to country custom in those parts, boarded and lodged at the houses of the farmers whose children he instructed. With these he lived successively a week at a time, thus going the rounds of the neighborhood, with all his worldly effects tied up in a cotton handkerchief. I was expecting this to be a book of short stories, when it was selected for my book club, but it's a mixture of stories and essays. Irving starts the book by explaining how he got it published in Britain, and he comes across as a bit of a ditherer. Having had his book rejected by the London publisher John Murray, he gets Walter Scott to recommend him to a publisher in Scotland, then changes his mind and has it self-published in London, only for that to go wrong when the publisher went bust. Eventually the book was published by John Murray after Scott interceded for him again!   "The Voyage" brought home to me how different travel used to be. Irving says that the long sea voyage between America and Europe means that there is a clear break between home and abroad and allows travellers to prepare themselves mentally for new countries and new experiences. His next essay was set in Liverpool, where he landed in England, and is a tribute to William Roscoe a Liverpool man who devoted his life to writing histories of the Medicis, and on civic works in Liverpool. I found it quite ironic how Irving praised Roscoe for working so hard and doing so much for his home town, when he himself even made an excuse not to accept a job handed to him on a plate by Walter Scott when he was totally broke. And then I finally got to a story. At least I "The Wife" may be a story, although it starts off more like an essay in praise of women and marriage.  In fact, there are a couple of probably fictional accounts contained within the essays, there are only two bona fide "stories" in the whole book. These are the well known tales "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", both of which I enjoyed. Although I had heard about Rip Van Winkle's long sleep, I had assumed that he had been bewitched by fairies, whereas he actually encounters the ghosts of Hendrick (Henry) Hudson and his crew, although this fits with the intertwined folklore concerning fairies and the dead, with the same stories that are told of fairies in some places, being told about the dead in others. I had never read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" either, although I saw the Johnny Depp film when it came out, and was aware that the film-makers had changed the ending. It was quite funny actually, with Ichabod Crane's obsession with food. At one point his eyes light up when he entered a room, and I assumed was because  he had caught sigh of the girl he supposedly loved (and I was glad, because I thought maybe he did love her rather than the size of her inheritance), but then I turned the page and discovered that he had actually caught sight of a table laden with food!It took me quite a while to read this book, because some of the essays were a bit samey, as is the way with collections of journalism, so I split them up and read other things in-between. I salsa kipped the stories about old-fashioned English Christmas traditions, as they were included in "The Keeping of Christmas at Bracebridge Hall" which I only read about 18 months ago .but I did enjoy his atmospheric description of a day spent wandering around Westminster Abbey, and the essay
lit13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though the writing style might be difficult to wade through, the stories themselves are worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simpley titled 'Irving Wahington Saves Christmas'. The truth of Christmas.