BIOGRAPHY He born in 1783 and named George Washington. The first American storyteller to be internationally recognized as a man of letters. He had a wealthy family and studied law. He preferred listening to the old tales told by villagers in New York’s Hudson Valley. Irving published witty and satiric letters in a newspaper. He had many pseudonym like William Wizard, Anthony evergreen and Diedrich Knickerbocker. Irving went to Europe and spent 17 years in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain exploring local traditions, costoms and folklore.
LIST OF WORKS Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle A History of New York Tales of a Traveller Tales of the Alhambra The Life of Oliver Goldsmith Salmagundi Wolferts Roost Astoria
THE DEVIL AND TOM WALKER Tom Walker is a greedy and selfish miser of a man who cherishes money more than his equally miserly wife. They lived in a forlorn looking house, that had stood long and had an air of starvation. This is until he takes a walk in the swamp at an old Indian fortress and starts up a conversation with the Devil incarnate (referred to as "Old Scratch" in the story). "Scratch" is shown as a lumberjack chopping down trees, each with a prominent and wealthy colonialist name branded on the tree trunk. One rotted and soon to fallen tree has the name of a deacon who grew wealthy "trading" with the Indians. Another fallen trunk has that of a wealthy seaman rumored to be a pirate. Old Scratch strikes up a deal with Tom Walker: he offers the riches hidden in the swamp by Captain Kidd in exchange for Toms soul. Tom agrees to think about it, and returns home.
Burdened with this secret, hementions it to his wife. When heis not there, Toms wife takes allthe valuables in the house andgoes to make a deal with OldScratch. When Tom goes insearch of his wife and property,all he can find of her is her heartand liver in her apron tied to atree.Tom Walker then agrees to thedeal with Old Scratch, as his wifehad been abusive towards him,and he considered her death atthe hand of Old Scratch a goodthing. Tom agrees to become aloan shark, although Tom has"scruples" in becoming a slavetrader.
Tom never tires of swindling people out of money, until hesuddenly becomes fearful about the afterlife. He then starts tobecome fiercely dedicated to God, always keeping two Biblesat hand.When, one day, a person who had borrowed money from himand is asking for clemency blames Tom for taking his money.Tom says, "The Devil take me if I have made but a farthing!" Atthis time, there are three loud knocks at the door. Tom is drawntowards the black-cloaked figure and realizes, in horror, thathe has left his Bibles at his desk.Tom Walker is then taken away by the Devil on the back of ablack horse which rides toward the old fortress and disappearsin lightning. Tom is never seen again. All his assets vanishedand his house burned to the ground. His ghost haunts the siteof the old fortress.
MAJOR EVENTS The pirate Kidd buried money and never got it because he was killed; The devil watches over pirate money Tom runs into the devil at an old Indian fort; The devil tries to make a deal with him for the Kidd treasure, and Tom declines Tom tells his wife about the Devil, she wants him to make the deal; Tom refuses so she attempts to make the deal and is never seen again Tom goes to look for his wife in the swamp; figuring she is dead when he finds her apron filled with a liver and heart Tom considered the death of his wife to be good, and nice for him; so Tom decides to go make a deal with the devil.
The devil tries to get Tom to become a slave dealer, but "the devil himself could not tempt him to turn slave trader" Tom agrees to be an usurer, which is someone that lends money to make a profit with interest Tom makes all his money on people that have fallen on hard times; taking mortgages and deeds to property Tom gets old and tries to think of a way to get out of the deal with the devil, he tries to be religious; he takes religion as law and looks at his neighbours wrongs as "credits" to himself One day Tom says the Devil take him if he made money on a particular deal, and the Devil does