Ichabod Crane and the Angler

As another Halloween passes, I repost this essay on Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hallow.”

The Literary Fly Fisher

Painting of Irving by John Wesley Jarvis, 1809 (Wikimedia Commons, public domain) Painting of Irving by John Wesley Jarvis, 1809 (Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

At this time of year, Washington Irving’s well-known “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is often brought to mind. This, of course, is the classic tale of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane, his romantic rivalry with Brom Bones to gain the affections of Katrina Van Tassel, and his terrifying encounter with the Headless Horseman. It was originally part of a much larger collection of works by Irving, titled The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., published in 1819 and 1820. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” has subsequently been published many times as a solitary work.

The person who actually reads “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in the Sketchbook, will find that it is preceded by a reminiscence entitled “The Angler.”  Here, Irving shows a very clear familiarity with fly fishing and angling literature.  He first describes his initiatory fly fishing…

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One Response to “Ichabod Crane and the Angler”

  1. “The Angler’s” Art | The Literary Fly Fisher Says:

    […] picture accompanies Washington Irving’s “The Angler.” Drawn by California artist Julian Rix, it is titled “To Haunt the Sides of Pastoral […]


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