Washington Irving An American Author 1783 - 1859
Personal Background• Born in New York City• One of eleven children of Scottish-English immigrant parents• Irving’s Father was a merchant and Mother was daughter of English clergymen• Both Parents were patriotic, since the American revolution were ending• Named after George Washington• Educated privately, studied law, and wrote essays and periodicals.• Went to school until he was 24 and passed the bar exam in 1807• Engaged to Matilda Hoffman who died in 1809 at age of 17 ….Irving never engaged or married again.
Irving’s Background Highlights• Books that influenced him, “Robinson Crusoe”, “Sinbad the Sailor”, and “The world Displayed”• 1804-1807- Lived in Germany and France, wrote whimsical journals & letters.• 1807-1808- with his brother William Irving and James Kirke Paulding wrote the Salamagundi papers, a collection of humorous essays.• 1809- Irving became more widely known for his comic work, A History of New York.• “History of New York” is a landmark in American satirical literature, written under the name of "Diedrich Knickerbocker.“
The famousKnickerbocker name • Made up a name “Diedrich Knickerbocker” as author to mock the Dutch people in New York, “A History of New York” • Borrowed the name from congressman Herman Knickerbocker in 1809
Highlights Con’t.• 1819-1820- he composed a collection of stories and essays that became The Sketch Book, under the pen name "Geoffrey Crayon“, which included “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”• In 1822- worked in Embassy at Madrid, he researched the biography of Christopher Columbus.• 1829- He was secretary of the US legation in London• 1842- 1846 -US ambassador to Spain• After Spain, Irving spent most of the rest of his life at his estate, ‘Sunnyside’, near Tarrytown, NY, where he finished the 5 volume biography of George Washington
Irving’s Claim toInternational Fame • Popularity of 29 short stories spread • Writings were published in America and across Europe • “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
Major ThemesThe Legend ofSleepy Hollow • The Power of the Imagination • Lack of Class Structure in America • Abundance of Resources in America • The Natural vs. the Supernatural • Human selfishness
Major ThemesRip Van Winkle• New world and old world• A Challenge to Americanvalues
Facts and legacy of Washington Irving• Best-known for his short stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”• “A History of New York” helped popularized jolly old St. Nicholas, and giving birth to the modern American Christmas• He called the city of New York by the name Gotham• Before Irving, no American earned a living as a author• Irving advocated for writing as a legitimate career, and argued for stronger laws to protect writers from copyright infringement.
Irving’s Literary Works Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey The Broken Heart The Adventures of Captain Bonneville The Art of Book-Making Astoria, or Anecdotes of an Enterprise A Royal Poet Beyond the Rocky Mountains The Country Church Bracebridge Hall or the Humorists The Widow and her Son Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada A Sunday in London The Boar’s Head Tavern The Crayon Papers The Mutability of Literature Knickerbocker’s History of New York Rural Funerals The Legend of Sleepy Hollow The Inn Kitchen The Life of Christopher Columbus, Volume 1, The Spectre Bridegroom The Life of Christopher Columbus, Volume 2 Westminster Abbey Christmas The Life of George Washington, Volume 1 The Stage-Coach Old Christmas Christmas Eve Oliver Goldsmith, a biography Christmas Day The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon The Christmas Dinner Preface London Antiques Little Britain The Author’s Account of Himself Stratford-on-Avon The Voyage Traits of Indian Character Roscoe Philip of Pokanoket The Wife Tales of a Traveller Rip Van Winkle Wolfert’s Roost and Miscellanies English Writers on America Rural Life in England
Works Cited• Burstein, Andrew. “The Original Knickerbocker”• http://www.biography.com/people/washington-irving- 9350087• Http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/hns/indians/irving.html• http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/~jmcd/book/revs/khny.html