Tonight is the first episode of season two of the television show Sleepy Hollow. While I am not a T.V. watcher, I watched the first episode last year because the show touches on local interests of mine. I have periodically posted about Sleepy Hollow since my second year of blogging, and I like to visit the area, made famous by Washington Irving's story of the Headless Horseman. Note, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is not a legend, and there was no town named Sleepy Hollow until 1996 (I covered that in my first linked post)- "Sleepy Hollow" referred to the valley of the Pocantico River as it wound through the hills on the North Side of a village named North Tarrytown.
Now, regarding Irving's story... there was a real man named Ichabod Crane. Washington Irving met Ichabod Crane in 1814- he was aide de camp to Daniel D. Tompkins, then governor of New York State. At the time, the War of 1812 was in full swing. Irving accompanied Gov. Tompkins on an inspection tour of forts on the border of our hated Canadian enemy, where he met Ichabod Crane.
Irving wrote the Legend of Sleepy Hollow in 1820 while living in England- the story was written by Irving under the psedonym "Geoffrey Crayon, Gentleman" and attributed by "Crayon" to the fictional "narrator" Diedrich Knickerbocker... pseudonyms all the way down, it would seem. The 1820 Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. was a popular best seller on both sides of the Atlantic shortly after it was released. The real Ichabod Crane went on to have a distinguished military career, and was a colonel on active duty when he died in 1857. I'd love to know what Crane's feelings were about sharing his name with a wildly popular but somewhat ridiculous comedic character.
THANKS A LOT, IRVING!!!