Rip Van Winkle is the tale of the amiable, lazy farmer who "loathes profitable labor" of any kind. He is loved by all but his own wife. Dame Van Winkle's nagging gets louder and longer as he neglects his farm and fields. One day, Rip Van Winkle walks into the mountains and comes upon some strangely dressed men and, after sharing some of their liquor, he falls asleep. When he wakes up, twenty years and the Revolutionary War have passed! Rip Van Winkle was introduced in England in 1819 as part of a collection of stories titled "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon." This edition was published in 1863, and contains many fine illustrations.
Rip Van Winkle is one in a volume of short stories based on Dutch folklore told by the fictional historian of Irving's imagination Dietrich Knickerbocker. In this particular volume you also get the Legend of Sleepy Hollow which I'm sure plenty of you will have heard of before.
I'm not a huge fan of short stories as a whole, I find they seem to come up short on themselves and therefore seem incomplete but this particular set of stories was different.
Maybe it was the roots in folklore that help... more