What's is the importance of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving in American literature?
Irving is often credited with the creation of the short story in America. In addition, his characters are indicative of the early immigrants, thus affording Americans something of history. The story demonstrates the two best qualities for which Washington Irving is known: vivid descriptive imagery and humor.
Irving's great tale and his descriptive qualities place him high in the genre of American folklore.
This story was originally published as part of Irving's "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon,Gent." Since Irving was living in England when the book was published, It was also published in England one year later. Audiences in both America and England discovered the book at the same time. Also included in the book was the story "Rip Van Winkle". It became popular on both sides of the Atlantic and was the first book written by an American author to become popular outside the United States. Its publication helped people to take American writers seriously and to consider them as serious, respectable artists.