The author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hallow” and “Rip Van
Winkle,” Washington Irving perfected the American short story. His stories were
written in an approachable tone and intended to entertain rather than
Originally published in 1819, “The Spectre Bridegroom” is a ghost
story about a baron and his daughter in historic Germany. The tale revolves
around the daughter’s betrothal to Count Van Altenburg and the strange
occurrences that lead up to the wedding. One of the few Irving stories set
outside of the United States, “The Spectre Bridegroom” is often seen as a
commentary on the differences between American and European society.
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