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Adventures in Bookland: Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

The title story is an enjoyable romp through the sexual politics of 19th-century America, when marriages were contracted and, like most business relationships, as liable to fail as to succeed (no different to today, but for different reasons). For some reason, other readers seem determined to impose early 21st-century ideas upon it. It’s worth remembering that, in two hundred year’s time, our own fondest notions will be seen to be as outmoded as Van Winkle’s attitudes are in this story. So, if you can leave the 21st century behind, try this slim volume of tales. If you can’t stick, with what you know.

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