What is Ichabod Crane's favorite reading material?Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

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About Ichabod Crane, the school master, Washington Irving writes in "A Legend of Sleepy Hollow":

He was, in fact an odd mixture of small shrewdness and simple credultiy.  His appetite for the marvellous, and his powers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary; and both had been increased by his residence in this spellbound region.

Ichabod Crane digests Cotton Mather's (a Puritan preacher) "History of New England Witchcraft," a book in which he firmly and "most potently" believes.  He spends many hours reading Mather's work, and "fluttered by his excited imagination" he believes that he is "struck with a witch's token" at times.  To drive away the evil spirits, he sings psalm tunes. Nevertheless, Crane still delights in the supernatural, so he spends winter evening with the old Dutch wives who exchange tales of ghosts and goblins around the fire.  In turn, Ichabod entertains them with Mathers's reports on witchcraft, as well as predicting what the sounds in the winter air portend. 

However, daylight always put an end to any fears.  That is, until Ichabod Crane meets Katrina Van Tassel.  When Ichabod vies for her attentions against Brom Van Brunt, "the hero of the country round," his superstitions are the weapon his adversary uses against him.

 

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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