Imagining Ichabod Crane: Illustrated Editions in Rare Books
Halloween approaches here in the Rare Book Division, and in addition to planning my costume (I'll be dressing as a librarian, naturally), I've also been exploring Washington Irving's classic and frightful Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This tale first appeared in part six of Irving's Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (the George Arents Collection holds a copy of the first edition, dated 1819-1820, in its original parts). While the initial printing contained no illustrations, the tale has since inspired many artists to create works evoking the strangely funny but frightful events in the story. From images of courtship and fireside taletelling to headless horsemen and eerie graveyard walks, here's a sampling of illustrations from the following editions: the American Art-Union's 1848 edition, with art by F. O. C. Darley; an 1897 edition designed and illustrated by Will Bradley; Powgen Press's 1936 edition with illustrations by Mary Dana; and a 1943 edition from Peter Pauper Press, illustrated by artist Aldren Watson.
Want to learn more about Washington Irving, the man behind the Legend ? I recommend Elizabeth L. Bradley's Knickerbocker of New York, or this exhibition catalog in the Library's Digital Collections. Happy Halloween!