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Rip Van Winkle

Author: Irving, Washington

Genre: Short Story

Year: 1819


Rip Van Winkle is the title of the book as well as the name of the main protagonist. The story is set in the days before the American Revolution. Rip Van winkle who is of Dutch descent  lives in a small village outside New York.

One autumn day he escapes his nagging wife by wandering up the mountains. There he encounters strangely dressed men, rumored to be the ghosts of Henry Hudson's crew, who are playing nine-pins. After drinking some of their liquor, he settles down under a shady tree and falls asleep. He wakes and returns to his village, where he finds twenty years have passed. He finds out that his wife has died and that his close friends have died in a war or gone somewhere else. He immediately gets into trouble when he proclaims himself a loyal subject of King George III, not knowing that the American Revolution has taken place.


An old local recognizes him, however, and Rip's now grown daughter takes him in. Rip resumes his habitual idleness, and his tale is solemnly believed by the old Dutch settlers, with certain hen-pecked husbands wishing they shared Rip's good luck.

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