Washington Irving Questions and Answers

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What is the setting in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle?

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Both stories take place in the 1700s before the Revolutionary War, in the Catskill Mountains, which are located northwest of New York City. The setting, with its rolling hills, deep, hidden valleys, rushing streams and rivers, and quiet ponds, lends itself well to both stories, each of which uses folklore and superstition to build their respective story lines.

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Both of these stories were written by Washington Irving in the early 1800s. They are presented to the reader as true tales from the collected papers of one Diedrich Knickerbocker. Both take place in the late 1700s and are placed in the Catskill mountains of upstate New York.

Irving was an American romantic writer, so all of his writing has elements of the supernatural. His stories also exalt the natural world. Indeed, the Hudson River valley and the Catskill mountains are not only the setting for these tales, they are also characters in them.

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