In general, I would not regard Irving as one of the most representative Romantic writers. The elements of Romanticism in his stories are present but are at times more incidental than central to his technique, and one could even judge the main thrust of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" as being somewhat of a throwback to the ironic and more low-key humor of the previous century. Nevertheless, Irving was of his time to the extent that the background of the story includes an emphasis on two typically Romantic symbols: nature and the past.
The description of the Hudson River valley is extensive and even a bit rapturous:
A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail, or tapping of a woodpecker, is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquility. ..
A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere . Some say the place was bewitched by a high German doctor during...
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