Friday, October 28, 2011

Sleepy Hollow Memories. (Guest Post from The Serpentine Library)


Sleepy Hollow Memories
by Maria, The Serpentine Library

Halloween has never been high on my list of favorite holidays. If I were to make a pro/con list for Halloween, the candy and getting to pick out costumes go in the pro column, but beyond that it would be a series of checks in the cons column: that’s how it would have gone, until fifth grade.

Fifth grade was the year we started going on field trips to Historic Hudson Valley sites, like Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, and our teacher read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to the class. It was a toned down version to be heard by our “young” ears of course, but it struck a chord, especially hearing so many familiar town names in the story and because the reading came in the weeks leading up to Halloween, in my mind the two became synonymous with each other.

Based on a German folktale, Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was set in post-Revolutionary War New York, no too far from New York City. Ichabod Crane arrives in Sleepy Hollow to take over the post of town schoolmaster. Katrina Van Tassel is one of his students and Mr. Crane finds himself taken in by her flirtatious nature. After meeting her father and seeing how wealthy the Van Tassel’s were, Mr. Crane tries to woo Katrina, despite the fact that several other suitors have tried and failed. Mr. Crane also becomes fascinated by the tale of the Headless Horseman, a Hessian soldier who lost his head during the Revolutionary War; he is often seen riding past the old church where, it is said, he is looking for his head.

Coming home from a party at the Van Tassel’s, Mr. Crane sees a large figure on a black horse on the path ahead and realizes that it does not have a head. The rider starts following Mr. Crane, who wants nothing to do with him. Mr. Crane and the rider end up by the church, with Mr. Crane trying to get over the bridge, where the horseman will disappear. Looking back to see if the horseman disappear, Mr. Crane sees that the horseman has thrown his detached head directly at him. Mr. Crane is thrown off his horse. The next morning the horse returns to the house with no sign of Mr. Crane. A search party finds hoof prints and Mr. Crane’s hat, with a smashed pumpkin next to it. Mr. Crane is never heard from again.

Well, after hearing all of that, the fifth graders could be found playing “headless horseman” and other games related to the story. But, then came the best part (in my opinion); we actually got to watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The Disney version of course, but still scary, at least to a fifth grader.






In high school, I was very much into reading short stories, so I read a collection of Washington Irving’s collected short stories that included The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I wasn’t disappointed; I actually liked the original even better than what I remembered from fifth grade. And even though I don’t really like reading things that are scary, it had just enough of that creepy, but not too scary feeling that had me hooked. So, since then it has become a yearly tradition to read some Washington Irving and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow right before Halloween.

Sleepy Hollow is also the perfect book to movie (or “reels and reads”) selection, because there are so many different choices to go with on the movie end. My favorite movie is Tim Burton’s Sleep Hollow.






Even though Burton was very liberal and loose in his retelling, he changed Ichabod Crane from a schoolmaster into a police constable sent to investigate 3 murders in Sleepy Hollow, I really liked the feel of this movie. It is just creepy and mysterious enough that you can overlook some of the plot changes, and who can resist Johnny Depp?

Want something a little more contemporary? The Hollow trilogy by Jessica Verday (The Hollow, The Haunted, and The Hidden) was inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, you’ll find traces of the story woven into the trilogy. And while it’s not a retelling, the way Verday uses Sleepy Hollow, the town, the cemetery and the story, was very interesting.

Of course, if I need a Sleepy Hollow fix at any other time during the year, a trip to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to visit Washington Irving’s grave will do the trick.



Thank you for participating in Halloween Hootenanny Maria!  I think that this classic story holds a place in many people's hearts but maybe more so for those of lucky residents of the Hudson Valley area!

If you aren't a follower on Maria's blog, The Serpentine Library, what are you waiting for?  Maria brings all sorts of books to my attention that I would not have heard of otherwise.


5 comments:

anay said...

I love the look of your website. I recently built mine and I was looking for some design ideas and you gave me a few. May I ask you whether you developed the website by youself?
Sleepys

Midnyte Reader said...

Hi Anay,
I worked closely with my graphic designer, Blogging Bella Design. If you scroll down there is a button on the right sidebar that will lead you directly to her site.

Zhenhong Bao said...

oakley sunglasses
bottega veneta outlet
longchamp outlet
cheap jordans
michael kors outlet
michael kors factory outlet
jordan pas cher
kate spade handbags
mulberry bags
ralph lauren uk
oakley sunglasses
toms shoes
chrome hearts outlet
polo ralph lauren
tory burch outlet
ray ban sunglasses
gucci sunglasses uk
nhl jerseys
burberry outlet store
ralph lauren outlet
swarovski outlet
burberry outlet store
louis vuitton outlet store
kobe shoes
police sunglasses for men
ray-ban sunglasses
polo ralph lauren
asics,asics israel,asics shoes,asics running shoes,asics israel,asics gel,asics running,asics gel nimbus,asics gel kayano
tiffany jewellery
fitflop clearance
mulberry outlet
hermes outlet
swarovski crystal
celine outlet
michael kors handbags
20160520zhenhong

Gege Dai said...

longchamp outlet
fitflops outlet
rolex watches
mulberry outlet
swarovski crystal
nike air max 90
oakley sunglasses
marc jacobs outlet
fitflops outlet sale
christian louboutin outlet
rolex watches for sale
michael kors outlet
cartier watches
polo ralph lauren
ugg boots
fitflop sale
tods shoes
ralph lauren
abercrombie and fitch
ray ban sunglasses
swarovski jewelry
bottega veneta outlet
coach outlet store
prada shoes
cheap nfl jersey
ugg outlet
iphone case
adidas nmd
coach outlet online
ralph lauren outlet
uggs outlet
michael kors outlet online
michael kors uk outlet
nike air huarache
tory burch shoes
czq20160728

dong dong23 said...

christian louboutin shoes
michael kors handbags
dallas mavericks jerseys
kate spade
ugg uk
ralph lauren clearance
uggs on sale
nike air max
cheap oakley sunglasses
canada goose jackets
uggs on sale
tommy hilfiger outlet
coach outlet
lebron james shoes 12
kevin durant shoes
nike outlet
prada outlet
michael kors outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
louboutin pas cher
toms shoes
coach outlet
jordan 11
kate spade
canada goose
oakley sunglasses wholesale
canada goose outlet
louis vuitton outlet
cheap jerseys
los angeles clippers jerseys
boston celtics jerseys
michael kors outlet clearance
oakley sunglasses wholesale
ugg outlet
adidas nmd
new england patriots jerseys
abercrombie kids
louis vuitton bags
20168.30wengdongdong

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...