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THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by Washington Irving – FULL AudioBook
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, and first published in 1820. With Irving’s companion piece “Rip Van Winkle”, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is among the earliest examples of American fiction still read today. (Summary adapted from – attribution:

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Chapter listing and length:

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow — 01:23:23

by Washington Irving


A pleasing land of drowsy head it was,
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye;
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,
Forever flushing round a summer sky.

In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern
shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated
by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always
prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas
when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which
by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly
known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in
former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the
inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village
tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact,
but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic.
Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little
valley or rather lap of land among high hills, which is one of the
quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it,
with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional
whistle of a quail or tapping of a woodpecker is almost the only sound
that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.

I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in
squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades one
side of the valley. I had wandered into it at noontime, when all nature
is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun, as it
broke the Sabbath stillness around and was prolonged and reverberated
by the angry echoes. If ever I should wish for a retreat whither I might
steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the
remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this
little valley.

From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its
inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this
sequestered glen has long been known by the name of SLEEPY HOLLOW, and
its rustic lads are called the Sleepy Hollow Boys throughout all the
neighboring country. A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the
land, and to pervade the very atmosphere. Some say that the place
was bewitched by a High German doctor, during the early days of the
settlement; others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of
his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by
Master Hendrick Hudson. Certain it is, the place still continues under
the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of
the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are
given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs, are subject to trances and
visions, and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in
the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots,
and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across
the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare,
with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her
gambols.” …. CONTINUED…..

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The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow — 01:23:23
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