Excerpt from Rip Van Winkle: Folk-Opera in Three Acts
The legend of Rip Van Winkle, under various names and guises, is one very old and well-nigh universal, having its modified versions as widely scattered as Japan and central Africa. One version, familiar to the Hartz Moun t... ains in Europe, the story-telling genius of Washington Irving transplanted to our own Catskills, interpenetrating it with characteristics of our early Dutch settlers and legen dary memories of the adventurous sea-captain who dis covered the Hudson river. This tale of Washington Irving's was popularized even more widely by the acting genius of Joseph Jefferson, who has told in the Preface of the published play Rip Van Winkle how the early dramatization of the story by himself was amplified by the dramatist Dion Boucicault and Others into the play which he acted for nearly two generations.
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