Almost anyone could tell you the story of Rip Van Winkle in a sentence or three.
Today we get to enjoy the tale in its entirety as presented by one of our favorite authors, Washington Irving.
The Sketch Book, whose full title is The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., is a short-story collection by Irving, first published in 1819–20 in seven separate parts.
Most of the book’s 30-odd pieces concern Irving’s impressions of England, but six chapters deal with American subjects. Of these, the tales “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” have been called the first American short stories, although both are actually Americanized versions of German folktales.
The publication of The Sketch Book was a celebrated event in American literary history. The collection was the first American work to gain international literary success and popularity, and its unprecedented success allowed Irving the financial freedom to devote himself entirely to writing.
To enjoy more of Washington Irving's works, look for "The Devil and Tom Walker" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" here on Just Listen.
And now, “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving…we begin….