The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.1 stars; 5 reviews)

Apart from "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - the pieces which made both Irving and The Sketch Book famous - other tales include "Roscoe", "The Broken Heart", "The Art of Book-making", "A Royal Poet", "The Spectre Bridegroom", "Westminster Abbey", "Little Britain", and "John Bull". His stories were highly influenced by German folktales, with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" being inspired by a folktale recorded by Karl Musäus. Stories range from the maudlin (such as "The Wife" and "The Widow and Her Son") to the picaresque ("Little Britain") and the comical ("The Mutability of Literature"), but the common thread running through The Sketch Book — and a key part of its attraction to readers — is the personality of Irving's pseudonymous narrator, Geoffrey Crayon. Erudite, charming, and never one to make himself more interesting than his tales, Crayon holds The Sketch Book together through the sheer power of his personality - and Irving would, for the rest of his life, seamlessly enmesh Crayon's persona with his own public reputation. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

(15 hr 20 min)

Chapters

00 - Preface 17:53 Read by Easton
01 - The Author's Account of Himself 7:19 Read by Bob Gonzalez
02 - The Voyage 16:08 Read by Delmar H Dolbier
03 - Roscoe 16:43 Read by K.G.Cross
04 - The Wife 18:25 Read by K.G.Cross
05 - Rip Van Winkle 55:17 Read by Easton
06 - English Writers on America 21:35 Read by Pamela Krantz
07 - Rural Life in England 15:58 Read by Jean Bascom
08 - The Broken Heart 14:08 Read by Mike Pelton
09 - The Art of Book-making 15:27 Read by elfpen
10 - A Royal Poet 37:19 Read by David Wales
11 - The Country Church 15:01 Read by David Wales
12 - The Widow and her Son 18:37 Read by NoelBadrian
13 - A Sunday in London 5:07 Read by Bob Gonzalez
14 - The Boar's Head Tavern 22:58 Read by ToddHW
15 - The Mutability of Literature 29:06 Read by Grant Hurlock
16 - Rural Funerals 31:18 Read by David Wales
17 - The Inn Kitchen 5:17 Read by Bob Gonzalez
18 - The Spectre Bridegroom 40:12 Read by Grant Hurlock
19 - Westminster Abbey 31:51 Read by David Wales
20 - Christmas 15:42 Read by Easton
21 - The Stage-Coach 13:41 Read by Anna Simon
22 - Christmas Eve 32:28 Read by Easton
23 - Christmas Day 37:18 Read by David Wales
24 - The Christmas Dinner 39:42 Read by David Wales
25 - London Antiques 13:58 Read by Patti Cunningham
26 - Little Britain 42:20 Read by David Wales
27 - Stratford-on-Avon 47:47 Read by Pamela Krantz
28 - Traits of Indian Character 25:26 Read by Anna Simon
29 - Philip of Pokanoket 48:34 Read by L D Hamilton
30 - John Bull 25:51 Read by Anna Simon
31 - The Pride of the Village 28:41 Read by vikvenom
32 - The Angler 20:21 Read by elfpen
33 - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, part 1 47:13 Read by Easton
34 - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, part 2 39:58 Read by Easton
35 - L'Envoy 6:11 Read by Easton

Reviews

Not the Best

(3 stars)

This book has a lot of charming parts - I especially enjoyed the old-fashioned English Christmas. However, I couldn't help but make the comparison with Irving's book on the Alhambra on the one hand (a truly fine book through and through, where the essays and stories are perfectly meshed) and Nathanial Hawthorne's Our Old Home on the other (another look at England through the eyes of an American). Hawthorne is just so much more observant, open to fresh detail, and all around interesting. Altogether, this book disappointed me. The readers were good though

Not what I expected at all

(4 stars)

A very English book for an early light in the American literary scene. Contents a very strange admixture. Ghost stories, as you'd expect, and tales like Rip van Winkle, but literary criticism of the love poetry of an obscure Scottish king? Thoughts on English customary funereal practicies? Basically he just threw together anything that wasa bit colourful, so far as I can see. So, good, but wordy, so you'll need to be a patient listener to really enjoy this.

DIVERSE ESSAYS

(4.5 stars)

A more diverse collection is difficult to imagine. There is something for everyone, and, though it is highly improbable that any reader would enjoy every story, I feel that most readers would enjoy most of them. In my particular case I especially appreciated the commentary on King Phillip's war.