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Rip Van Winkle (Classic Illustrated Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Washington Irving , A. White
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

* Beautifully illustrated with delightful illustrations from early editions, Rip Van Winkle is set in the years before and after the American Revolutionary War. In a pleasant village, at the foot of New York's Catskill Mountains, lives kindly Rip Van Winkle, a colonial British-American villager of Dutch ancestry. Van Winkle enjoys solitary activities in the wilderness, but he is also loved by all in town—especially the children to whom he tells stories and gives toys. However, he tends to shirk hard work, to his nagging wife's dismay, which has caused his home and farm to fall into disarray. His life is turned upside-down after he drinks some moonshine with mysterious mountain men and falls asleep for twenty years.

* Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's readers as it would have been when first published, the novel is one of the great works of American literature and continues to be widely read throughout the world.

* This meticulous digital edition from Heritage Illustrated Publishing is a faithful reproduction of the original text and is enhanced with images carefully selected by our team of professional editors.

Product Description

About the Author

A leading figure in the early 20th century's Golden Age of Illustration, English artist Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) brought countless stories and fairy tales to life through his vivid imagination and eye for telling details. Rackham interpreted scenes from fairy tales, Wagnerian opera, and Shakespearean comedy. His memorable images, which combine whimsy, romance, and sophistication, continue to enchant children and adults alike.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 769 KB
  • Print Length: 27 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1502881764
  • Publisher: Heritage Illustrated Publishing (7 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #444,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeously bleak 22 April 2015
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was really excited by the launch of the Penguin Little Black classics books- 80 books to celebrate 80 years of the brand, all for 80p each. Bargain! On my recent trip to London I decided to treat myself to a few, and The Reckoning was the one I had my eye on from the off.

I've only read one book by Edith Wharton before, Ethan Frome which I first read many years ago when my husband had it as a set text on his English degree. It has remained a firm favourite, a dark and haunting tale of deception which stays in the mind long after closing the final page.

The Reckoning is a different genre totally- two unlinked short stories, each with female protagonists with issues. The first story was my favourite, focussing on the importance of the view from her window to a reclusive widow, but it is the second story which has stayed with me. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it whilst reading, although the story is told with precision and a deliberate voice, but it is so immensely powerful and exceptionally thought provoking. Marriage, and divorce, are explored in a controversial fashion in a tight wordcount- and left me with a sour taste and a lump in my throat.

I really need to read more of Wharton's work, because it is moving and controversial and so gorgeously bleak.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical Truth For The Humble, But No One Else 23 May 2005
By The Wingchair Critic - Published on
Washington Irving's 'Rip Van Winkle' originally appeared in 'The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.' (1819) alongside another evocative piece of Americana, 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,' a wondrous story equally set in Irving's beloved Hudson River Valley.

Though not as multilayered as its longer and slightly more well known fellow, 'Rip Van Winkle' also has long roots in Old World folklore, which is appropriate, since 'The Sketch Book' was the first book by an American writer to be taken seriously by the European audiences that then set the standard in the West.

Like the earlier 'A Knickerbocker's History of New York' (1809), 'Rip Van Winkle' is playfully attributed to Dutch antiquarian "Diedrich Knickerbocker," the most famous and certainly the most charming of several personae Irving adopted as an author.

Written in simple but gorgeously visionary language, 'Rip Van Winkle' is the story of the lazy but warm spirited farmer, who, in an effort to escape the "petticoat despotism" of his "termagant" wife, flees for an afternoon's hunting in the lonely, autumnal Catskill Mountains.

Accompanied only by Wolf, his faithful but equally harassed dog, Rip is surprised when he notices an odd figure approaching through the wilderness and calling out his name.

The "short, square built old fellow with thick bushy hair and a grizzled beard" is carrying a "stout keg," and gestures to Van Winkle to assist him with his burden.

Taking up the "flagon," Rip hesitantly follows the little man into an isolated ravine, and thus steps unknowingly into fairyland; there he finds himself confronted by a solemn and outlandishly dressed party of dwarfs playing at ninepins.

Bewildered, Rip pours out the beverage for the assemblage, but can't resist taking a drink himself.

Awaking on the mountainside, Van Winkle, finding Wolf gone and a badly rusted gun at his side, returns to town, where he discovers his home in ruins, his wife dead, his children grown to adulthood, the land of his birth now an independent nation freed from the yoke of the British, and himself a stranger to the villagers, who stare at his tattered clothing and exceptionally long facial hair.

After making bewildered inquiries, he comes to accept that twenty years have passed.

As a humble, good hearted, and mild tempered dreamer, Rip is an archetypal fairytale hero, though the only dragon slain is Dame Van Winkle, and she accidentally, by the passage of time itself.

Like kindred spirit Ichabod Crane, Rip is not an absolute novice when it comes to the fantastic, for he has enjoyed telling the village children who love him "long stories about ghosts, witches, and Indians."

As in traditional Celtic fairy lore, in which eating or drinking while visiting fairyland is often punished with permanent residency there, Rip had made the honest mistake of partaking of fairy foodstuffs, and thus pays an unintended price for doing so.

For Celtic fairy lore also featured multiple variations on the theme of fairy time; one minute of perceived human time might be seven years of fairy time, and a man spending a happy week dancing in fairyland might discover that one hundred years or more has past on earth upon his return.

Whether dwarfs, elves, boggarts, or fairies, Irving's little people are first cousins to many of the mythological beings of European mythology.

Interestingly, like the literally "solitary" fairies of Ireland and Scotland, who were brusque of manner at best and never seen in groups (as were the far more gregarious "trooping" fairies), the little men Rip holds audience with "maintain the gravest faces, the most mysterious silence," and thus represent "the most melancholy party of pleasure he had ever witnessed."

But Irving, who deftly places his story in the historical setting of pre-Revolutionary America, also shrewdly offers his audience other interpretations for Van Winkle's strange mountain encounter.

Though narrator Diedrich Knickerbocker acknowledges early that the Catskills are "fairy mountains," one character, sage Peter Vanderdonk, explains that it was the dead "Hendrick Hudson" himself, who returns with his crew every twenty years "to keep a guardian eye on the river," whom Rip encountered, while the postscript indeterminably discusses a variety of Indian spirits, including the Manitou, who haunt the region.

One fact entirely overlooked by scholars everywhere is that American literature was born in the daimonic, a tradition begun by Irving but enthusiastically continued by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe.

Like most of Irving's work, at present 'Rip Van Winkle' is a grossly underappreciated piece of pure Americana; certainly American literature could have gotten off to a much worst beginning than it did than with its gallant, optimistic, and uncynical founder. For Rip, despite the precariousness of his experience, learns to accept his fate and settles into a comfortable old age as a venerated member of his community.

Not that very long ago, there was a time in America when, taking a direct cue from the story itself, some of America's young schoolchildren were fancifully taught that thunder was not the result of lightning, but merely the echo of the elves' occasional game of mountain bowling.

This definitive edition, first published in 1905, features over fifty genuinely "mesmerizing" though somber watercolor illustrations by British master Arthur Rackham, which perfectly suit Irving's text and will captivate both adults and children alike.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rip Van Winkle 24 Jan. 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on
This is the original text of Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. There are 34 of Rackham's paintings used throughout the text. I do not find the reading level suitable for 4 to 8 year olds. Reading level is about 8th grade (14 years old). Example: "The great error in Rip's composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labour. It could not be from the want of assiduity or perseverance..." This is not for 4 to 8 year olds. Illustrations enhance this classic in American literature.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rip Van Winkle Hardback 23 Oct. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully illustrated but not for the average upper elementary age child. The are lots of long and unusual words that will prove frustrating to the average 4th & 5th grader. It may work well for a read-aloud, but the momentum of the story will be lost by the time you stop and explain the meaning of so many words. Considering the vocabulary, a high school student could easily enjoy and learn about creative writing from this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great wyeth color illustrations 6 Dec. 2013
By planettyoz - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
as always, this calla edition has magnificent color pictures. it is a joy to behold. and i've not seen any other Rip Van Winkle book with Wyeth illustrations
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Lazy 5 Dec. 2005
By khw - Published on
The character of Rip Van Winkle is like an older version of Peter Pan, overgrown and frumpy. He seeks to enjoy his life and in doing so engages in mostly childish activities. Adulthood bores him, as it should, because he excels at leisure as much as Ben Franklin stands out in industry.

Rip reads well to married people, who seem to be the ideal audience for the story. The detached approach Irving takes in describing the "henpecking wife" and "curtain lectures" is comical to married couples, husbands in particular. It is a great comfort for men in 2005 to learn that the traffic of henpecking was a one-way street then, too. :)

The character of Rip is admirable. How lucky to be free to do nothing and experience no remorse. He is harmless, and a great credit to the community in entertainment value and spontenaity. By enjoying simple things, he understands the best things in life are free, such as the view from the mountain top and pulling a fish out of the stream. He is good for conversation, non-judgmental, agreeable, and rather kind. Strange, but it seems he could be a fine pastor or priest.

The comedy of this story seems to be the escape from his hellish home life. Some have described heaven as a place of rest, away from the burdens of the world. So Rip, on the mountaintop, taking in a beautiful sight, after a day of shooting squirrels, has some delicious liquor, and falls asleep until two tyrants are deposed; his wife and King George.
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