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Washington Irving

Washington Irving

Considered the first professional man of letters in the United States, Washington Irving (1783-1859) was influential in the development of the short story form and helped to gain international respect for fledgling American literature.

Following the tradition of the eighteenth-century essay exemplified by the elegant, lightly humorous prose of Joseph Addison and Oliver Goldsmith, Irving created endearing and often satiric short stories and sketches. In his most-acclaimed work, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819-20), he wove elements of myth and folklore into narratives, such as "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, " that achieved almost immediate classic status. Although Irving was also renowned in his lifetime for his extensive work in history and biography, it was through his short stories that he most strongly influenced American writing in subsequent generations and introduced a number of now-familiar images and archetypes into the body of the national literature.

Irving was born and raised in New York City, the youngest of eleven children of a prosperous merchant family. A dreamy and ineffectual student, he apprenticed himself in a law office rather than follow his elder brothers to nearby Columbia College. In his free time, he read avidly and wandered when he could in the misty, rolling Hudson River Valley, an area steeped in local folklore and legend that would serve as an inspiration for his later writings.

As a nineteen-year-old, Irving began contributing satirical letters under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle to a newspaper owned by his brother Peter. His first book, Salmagundi; or, The Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq., and Others (1807-08), was a collaboration with another brother, William, and their friend James Kirke Paulding. This highly popular collection of short pieces poked fun at the political, social, and cultural life of the city. Irving enjoyed a second success in 1809 with A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, a comical, deliberately inaccurate account of New York's Dutch colonization narrated by the fictitious Diedrich Knickerbocker, a fusty, colorful Dutch-American. His carefree social life and literary successes were shadowed at this time, however, by the death of his fiancee, Matilda Hoffmann, and for the next several years he floundered, wavering between a legal, mercantile, and editorial career. In 1815 he moved to England to work in the failing Liverpool branch of the family import-export business. Within three years the company was bankrupt, and, finding himself at age thirty-five without means of support, Irving decided that he would earn his living by writing. He began recording the impressions, thoughts, and descriptions which, polished and repolished in his meticulous manner, became the pieces that make up The Sketch Book. The volume was brought out under the pseudonym of Geoffrey Crayon, who was purportedly a good-natured American roaming Britain on his first trip abroad.

The Sketch Book comprises some thirty parts: about half English sketches, four general travel reminiscences, six literary essays, two descriptions of the American Indian, three essentially unclassifiable pieces, and three short stories: "Rip Van Winkle," "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,"and "The Spectre Bridegroom." Although only the last-named tale is set in Germany, all three stories draw upon the legends of that country. The book was published almost concurrently in the United States and England in order to escape the piracy to which literary works were vulnerable before international copyright laws, a shrewd move that many subsequent authors copied. The miscellaneous nature of The Sketch Book was an innovation that appealed to a broad range of readers; the work received a great deal of attention and sold briskly, and Irving found himself America's first international literary celebrity. In addition, the book's considerable profits allowed Irving to devote himself full-time to writing.

Remaining abroad for more than a decade after the appearance of The Sketch Book, Irving wrote steadily, capitalizing on his international success with two subsequent collections of tales and sketches that also appeared under the name Geoffrey Crayon. Bracebridge Hall; or, the Humorists: A Medley (1822) centers loosely around a fictitious English clan that Irving had introduced in several of the Sketch Book pieces. Bracebridge Hall further describes their manners, customs, and habits, and interjects several unrelated short stories, including "The Student from Salamanca" and "The Stout Gentleman." Tales of a Traveller (1824) consists entirely of short stories arranged in four categories: European stories, tales of London literary life, accounts of Italian bandits, and narrations by Irving's alter-ego, Diedrich Knickerbocker. The most enduring of these, according to many critics, are "The German Student," which some consider a significant early example of supernatural fiction, and "The Devil and Tom Walker," a Yankee tale that like "Rip Van Winkle" draws upon myth and legend for characters and incident. After 1824 Irving increasingly turned his attention from fiction and descriptive writing toward history and biography. He lived for several years in Spain, serving as a diplomatic attache to the American legation while writing a life of Christopher Columbus and a history of Granada. During this period he also began gathering material for The Alhambra (1832), a vibrantly romantic collection of sketches and tales centered around the Moorish palace in Granada.

Irving served as secretary to the American embassy in London from 1829 until 1832, when he returned to the United States. After receiving warm accolades from the literary and academic communities, he set out on a tour of the rugged western part of the country, which took him as far as Oklahoma. The expedition resulted in three books about the region, notably A Tour on the Prairies (1835), which provided easterners with their first description of life out west by a well-known author. Irving eventually settled near Tarrytown, New York, at a small estate on the Hudson River, which he named Sunnyside. Apart from four years in Madrid and Barcelona, which he spent as President John Tyler's minister to Spain, Irving lived there the rest of his life. Among the notable works of his later years is an extensive biography of George Washington, which Irving worked on determinedly, despite ill health, from the early 1850s until a few months before his death in 1859.

The Sketch Book prompted the first widespread critical response to Irving's writings. Reviewers in the United States were generally delighted with the work of their native son, and even English critics, normally hostile in that era to American authors, accorded the book generally favorable— if somewhat condescending—notice. Among the pieces singled out for praise in the early reviews were most frequently the three short stories, particularly "Rip Van Winkle." Critics found Irving's style pleasingly elegant, fine, and humorous, although some, including Richard Henry Dana, perceived a lack of intellectual content beneath the decorative surface. Dana also observed that in adopting the authorial persona of Geoffrey Crayon—with his prose style modeled after the eighteenth-century essayists—Irving lost the robustness, high color, and comic vigor of his previous incarnations as Jonathan Oldstyle, Launcelot Langstaff, and Diedrich Knickerbocker, an observation that was echoed by later critics. Subsequent "Crayon" works, such as Bracebridge Hall, Tales of a Traveller, and The Alhambra, while generally valued for their prose style, tended to prompt such complaints as that by the Irish author Maria Edgeworth that "the workmanship surpasses the work."

Beginning in the 1950s, however, critics began to explore technical and thematic innovations in Irving's short stories. These include the integration of folklore, myth, and fable into narrative fiction; setting and landscape as a reflection of theme and mood; the expression of the supernatural and use of Gothic elements in some stories; and the tension between imagination and creativity versus materialism and productivity in nineteenth-century America. Many critics read Rip's twenty-year sleep as a rejection of the capitalistic values of his society—ferociously personified by the shrewish Dame Van Winkle—and an embracing of the world of the imagination. Ichabod Crane, too, has been viewed by such critics as Robert Bone as representing the outcast artist-intellectual in American society, although he has been considered, conversely, as a caricature of the acquisitive, scheming Yankee Puritan, a type that Irving lampooned regularly in his early satirical writings.

Today, many critics concur with Fred Lewis Pattee's assertion that the "American short story began in 1819 with Washington Irving." Commentators agree, moreover, that in "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Irving established an artistic standard and model for subsequent generations of American short story writers. As George Snell wrote: "It is quite possible to say that Irving unconsciously shaped a principal current in American fiction, whatever may be the relative unimportance of his own work." In their continuing attention to the best of Irving's short fiction, critics affirm that while much of Irving's significance belongs properly to literary history, such stories as "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" belong to literary art.

Further Reading

Bleiler, E. F., editor, Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror 2: A. E. Coppard to Roger Zelazny, Scribners, 1985, pp. 685-91.

Bowden, Mary Weatherspoon, Washington Irving, Twayne, 1981.

Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography: Colonization to the American Renaissance, 1640-1865, Gale, 1988.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale, Volume 3: Antebellum Writers in New York and the South, 1979, Volume 11: American Humorists, 1800-1950, 1982, Volume 30: American Historians, 1607-1865, 1984, Volume 59: American Literary Critics and Scholars, 1800-1850, 1987, Volume 73: American Magazine Journalists 1741-1850, 1988, Volume 74: American Short-Story Writers before 1880, 1988.

Harbert, Earl N., and Robert A. Rees, editor, Fifteen American Authors before 1900: Bibliographic Essays on Research and Criticism, University of Wisconsin Press, 1984.

Hedges, William L., Washington Irving: An American Study, 1802-1832, Johns Hopkins Press, 1965.

Leary, Lewis, Washington Irving, University of Minnesota Press, 1963. □

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Irving, Washington

Washington Irving

Born: April 3, 1783
New York, New York
Died: November 28, 1859
Irvington, New York

American author

Considered the first professional distinguished writer in the United States with short stories like "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Washington Irving was influential in the development of the short story form and helped to gain international respect for American literature.

Childhood

Washington Irving was born and raised in New York City, the youngest of eleven children of a prosperous merchant family. Named after President George Washington (17321799), Irving was fascinated by the upper class of New York City and would often sneak out of family prayer meetings to attend the local theatre.

A dreamy and uninspired student, Irving apprenticed (worked to gain experience in a trade) himself in a law office rather than follow his elder brothers to nearby Columbia College. In his free time, he read avidly and wandered when he could around the misty, rolling Hudson River Valley. This area just north of New York City was steeped in local folklore and legend and served as an inspiration for his later writings.

Begins writing career

As a nineteen-year-old, Irving began contributing letters under the pseudonym (assumed name) Jonathan Oldstyle to a news-paper owned by his brother Peter. His first book, Salmagundi (180708), was a collaboration with another brother, William, and their friend James Kirke Paulding. This highly popular collection of short pieces poked fun at the political, social, and cultural life of the city.

Irving enjoyed a second success in 1809 with A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, a comical and purposefully inaccurate account of New York's Dutch colonization (settlement by a foreign nation) narrated by another pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, a Dutch American.

Irving's carefree social life and literary successes were shadowed at this time, however, by the death of his fiancée, Matilda Hoffmann. For the next several years he floundered, wavering between a legal and writing career.

Life in England

In 1815 Irving moved to England to work in the failing Liverpool branch of the family import-export business. Within three years the company was bankrupt, and, finding himself at age thirty-five without means of support, Irving decided that he would earn his living by writing. He began recording the impressions, thoughts, and descriptions, which he reworked several times. These became the pieces that make up The Sketch Book. The volume was introduced under the pseudonym of Geoffrey Crayon.

The Sketch Book comprises some thirty parts: about half English sketches, four general travel pieces, six literary essays, two descriptions of the American Indian, three essentially unclassifiable pieces, and three short stories: "Rip Van Winkle," "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and "The Spectre Bridegroom." The varied material in The Sketch Book appealed to a broad range of readers; the work received a great deal of attention and sold quickly. Irving found himself America's first international literary celebrity. In addition, the book's considerable profits allowed Irving to devote himself full time to writing.

Remaining in Europe for more than a decade after the appearance of The Sketch Book, Irving wrote steadily, and soon published Bracebridge Hall; or, the Humorists: A Medley (1822), which centers loosely around a fictitious English clan that Irving had introduced in The Sketch Book.

After 1824 Irving increasingly turned his attention from fiction and descriptive writing toward history and biography. He lived for several years in Spain, serving as a diplomatic attaché (a person who works for their government in a foreign country) to the American embassy in Spain while writing a life of Christopher Columbus (14511506) and a history of Granada, Spain. Irving served as secretary to the American embassy in London from 1829 until 1832, when he returned to the United States.

An American celebrity

After receiving warm praise from the literary and academic communities, Irving set out on a tour of the rugged western part of the country, which took him as far as Oklahoma. The expedition resulted in three books about the region, notably A Tour on the Prairies (1835), which provided easterners with their first description of life out west by a well-known author. Irving eventually settled near Tarrytown, New York, at a small estate on the Hudson River, which he named Sunnyside.

Among the notable works of Irving's later years is an extensive biography of George Washington (17321799), which he worked on determinedly, despite ill health, from the early 1850s until a few months before his death in 1859. As America's first literary star with stories like "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Irving established an artistic standard and model for later generations of American short story writers.

For More Information

Bowden, Mary Weatherspoon. Washington Irving. New York: Twayne, 1981.

Curtis, George William. Washington Irving: A Sketch. New York: The Grolier Club, 1891. Reprint, Philadelphia: R. West, 1978.

Irving, Pierre M. The Life and Letters of Washington Irving. New York: Putnam, 186264. Reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1973.

Leary, Lewis. Washington Irving. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1963.

Williams, Stanley T. The Life of Washington Irving. New York: Oxford University Press, 1935. Reprint, New York: Octagon Books, 1971.

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Irving, Washington

Washington Irving, 1783–1859, American author and diplomat, b. New York City. Irving was one of the first Americans to be recognized abroad as a man of letters, and he was a literary idol at home.

Early Life and Work

While he studied law, Irving amused himself by writing for periodicals such essays on New York society and the theater as the Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent. (1802–3). From 1804 to 1806 his older brothers financed his tour of France and Italy. On his return he joined William Irving and J. K. Paulding in publishing Salmagundi; or, The Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff & Others (1807–8), a series of humorous and satirical essays. Under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, he published A History of New York (1809), a satire that has been called the first great book of comic literature written by an American. Purporting to be a scholarly account of the Dutch occupation of the New World, the book is a burlesque of history books as well as a satire of politics in his own time.

Later Life and Mature Work

Irving went to England in 1815 to run the Liverpool branch of the family hardware business, but could not save it when the whole firm failed. Thereupon, with the encouragement of Walter Scott, Irving turned definitely to literature. The stories (including "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" ), collected in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (London, 1820), appeared serially in New York in 1819–20; their enthusiastic reception made Irving the best-known figure in American literature both at home and abroad. Bracebridge Hall (1822), the next volume of essays, although inferior to the previous book, was well received. However, his Tales of a Traveller (1824), written after visits to Germany and France, was a failure.

Irving became a diplomatic attaché at the American embassy in Madrid in 1826. There he produced his biography of Columbus (1828), largely based on the work of the Spanish historian Navarrete; The Conquest of Granada (1829), a romantic narrative; and the soft, casually charming Spanish sketches of The Alhambra (1832). After a short period at the American legation in London, he returned to New York. In search of colorful material, he made a journey to the frontier and wrote about the American West in A Tour of the Prairies (1835). From records furnished by John Jacob Astor, he wrote Astoria (1836), with Pierre Irving, and The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U.S.A. (1837).

Irving subsequently established himself at his estate, Sunnyside, near Tarrytown, N.Y., until he was sent to Madrid as American minister to Spain (1842–46). Once more at Sunnyside, he wrote a biography of Goldsmith (1849) and the miscellaneous sketches called Wolfert's Roost (1855) and labored at his biography of George Washington (5 vol., 1855–59), which he completed just before his death.

Irving was master of a graceful and unobtrusively sophisticated prose style. A gentle but effective satirist, he was the creator of a few widely loved essays and tales that have made his name endure.

Bibliography

Irving's journals were edited by W. P. Trent and G. S. Hellman (3 vol., 1919, repr. 1970); The Western Journals (1944) by J. F. McDermott. See also his life and letters by P. M. Irving (4 vol., 1864; repr. 1967); biographies by S. T. Williams (2 vol., 1935; repr. 1971), C. D. Warner (1981), and A. Burstein (2007); studies by W. L. Hedges (1965, repr. 1980) and J. Rubin-Dorsky (1988).

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Irving, Washington (1783-1859)

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Source

Author, historian, and diplomat

Diedrich Knickerbocker. Born into a successful New York City family, Washington Irving trained as a lawyer and went into partnership with one of his brothers. After publishing twenty numbers of the miscellany Salmagundi with his brother William and friend James K. Paulding in 1807 and 1808, Irving first gained fame as a writer through his satiric A History of New-York (1809), published under the fictitious name Diedrich Knickerbocker. In spite of the pseudonym, A History of New-York made him well known in New York. He was named the editor of the Analectic magazine in 1814 and resigned a year later to become aide-de-camp to the governor of New York in the closing stages of the War of 1812. In 1815 he traveled to Liverpool to look in on his familys interests there and did not return to the United States until 1832.

Travels. While living in England, Irving worked as an agent for an American publisher, wrote for several English and Scottish journals, and was befriended by Sir Walter Scott. Irving decided to stay and produce articles from time to time that will be sufficient for my present support, and form a stock of copyright property, that may be a little capital for me hereafter. The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, one of Irvings best-known and most popular works, was his first full-fledged production of copyright property. Appearing first in the United States in 1819, The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon was successful enough to be followed by an English edition and then a second collection of essays, Bracebridge Hall (1822). Irving then went to France, where he wrote Tales of a Traveller (1824). The essay form suited Irving well, allowing him to publish his impressions of American and European customs without the restrictions of a novels controlling narrative line. The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon also contained several stories of Irvings native New York State which have become integral parts of American folk culture: The Spectre Bridegroom, Rip Van Winkle, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Later Years. In 1826 Irving went to Spain and involved himself in the study of Spanish literature and history. He established himself as a historian by producing two serious works, The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828) and Voyages of the Companions of Columbus (1831), as well as a satiric history, The Conquest of Granada (1829), under the pseudonym Fray Antonio Agapida. Finally he returned to lighter essays with The Alhambra (1832), a work that deeply inspired poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He returned to London to serve as secretary to the U.S. legation in 1829 and finally returned home as an established literary figure. He continued to write American history, and he returned to Spain to serve as ambassador from 1842 to 1846. He completed his Life of George Washington (18551859), conceived in 1825, shortly before his death in 1859.

Source

Mary Weatherspoon Bowden, Washington Irving (Boston: Twayne, 1981).

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Irving, Washington

Irving, Washington (1783–1859) US essayist and short-story writer. He wrote the burlesque History of New York (1809) under the pseudonym Dietrich Knickerbocker. He is most famous for the stories Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which were written during his 17 years in Europe. He returned to the USA in 1832, where his continuing literary output included Astoria (1836).

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Irving, Washington

IRVING, Washington

Nationality: American. Born: New York City, 3 April 1783. Education: Educated in local schools; studied law in the offices of Henry Masterton, 1799, Brockholst Livingstone, 1801, and Josiah Ogden Hoffman, 1802; admitted to New York bar, 1806, but practised only intermittently. Military Service: Served as military aide to New York Governor Tompkins in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. Career: Traveled in Europe, 1804-06; became partner, with his brothers, in family hardware business, New York and Liverpool, 1810; representative of the business in England, 1815 until the firm collapsed, 1818; editor, Analectic magazine, Philadelphia and New York, 1812-14; lived in Dresden, 1822-23, London, 1824, Paris, 1825, and Madrid, as member of the U.S. Legation, 1826-29; secretary, U.S. Legation, London, 1829-32; returned to New York, then toured the southern and western U.S., 1832; lived at the manor house "Sunnyside," Tarrytown-on-Hudson, New York, 1836-42; U.S. Ambassador to Spain, in Barcelona and Madrid, 1842-45; returned to Tarrytown; president, Astor Library (later New York Public Library), 1848-59. Awards: Royal Society of Literature medal, 1830. LL.D.: Oxford University, 1831; Columbia University; New York; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Member: Royal Academy of History (Spain), 1829. Died: 28 November 1859.

Publications

Collections

Works (author's revised edition). 15 vols., 1848-51.

Representative Selections, edited by Henry A. Pochmann. 1934.

Complete Works, edited by Richard Dilworth Rust and others.1969—.

Complete Tales, edited by Charles Neider. 1975.

History, Tales and Sketches (Library of America), edited by JamesW. Tuttleton. 1983.

Short Stories and Sketches

Salmagundi; or, The Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq., and Others, with James Kirke Paulding and William Irving. 2 vols., 1807-08; revised (by Washington Irving only), 1824.

The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. 7 vols., 1819-20; revised edition, 2 vols., 1820.

Bracebridge Hall; or, The Humourists: A Medley. 1822; edited by J.D. Colclough, 1898.

Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent. 1824.

Tales of a Traveller. 1824.

The Alhambra: A Series of Tales and Sketches of the Moors and Spaniards. 1832.

Essays and Sketches. 1837.

Chronicles of Wolfert's Roost and Other Papers. 1855.

Plays

Charles the Second; or, The Merry Monarch, with John HowardPayne, from a play by Alexandre Duval (produced 1824). 1824; edited by Arthur Hobson Quinn, in Representative American Plays, 1917.

Richelieu: A Domestic Tragedy, with John Howard Payne, from a play by Alexandre Duval (produced 1826; as The French Libertine, produced 1826). 1826.

Abu Hassan. 1924.

The Wild Huntsman, from a play by Friedrich Kind. 1924.

An Unwritten Play of Lord Byron. 1925.

Poetry

The Poems, edited by William R. Langfeld. 1931.

Other

A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty. 2 vols., 1809; revised edition, 1812, 1848.

A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. 4 vols., 1828; edited by Winifred Hulbert, as The Voyages of Columbus, 1931.

A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada. 2 vols., 1829.

Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus. 1831.

Miscellanies (A Tour on the Prairies, Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey, Legends of the Conquest of Spain). 3 vols., 1835; A Tour on the Prairies, edited by John Francis McDermott, 1956.

Astoria; or, Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains. 2 vols., 1836; edited by Edgeley W. Todd, 1964.

Adventures of Captain Bonneville; or, Scenes Beyond the Rocky Mountains of the Far West, based on journals of B.L.E. Bonneville. 3 vols., 1837; as The Rocky Mountains, 1837.

The Life of Oliver Goldsmith, with Selections from His Writings. 2 vols., 1840; revised edition, as Oliver Goldsmith: A Biography, in Works II, 1849; edited by G.S. Blakely, 1916.

Biography and Poetical Remains of the Late Margaret Miller Davidson. 1841.

A Book of the Hudson. 1849.

Mahomet and His Successors, in Works. 2 vols., 1850.

Life of George Washington. 5 vols., 1855-59; abridged and edited by Charles Neider, 1976.

Spanish Papers and Other Miscellanies, edited by Pierre M. Irving.2 vols., 1866.

Letters to Mrs. William Renwick and to Her Son James Renwick. 1915.

Letters to Henry Brevoort, edited by George S. Hellman. 2 vols., 1915.

The Journals (Hitherto Unpublished), edited by William P. Trent and George S. Hellman. 3 vols., 1919.

Notes and Journal of Travel in Europe 1804-1805. 3 vols., 1921.

Diary: Spain 1828-1829, edited by Clara Louisa Penney. 1926.

Notes While Preparing Sketch Book 1817, edited by Stanley T. Williams. 1927.

Tour in Scotland 1817, and Other Manuscript Notes, edited by Stanley T. Williams. 1927.

Letters from Sunnyside and Spain, edited by Stanley T. Williams. 1928.

Journal (1823-1824), edited by Stanley T. Williams. 1931.

Irving and the Storrows: Letters from England and the Continent 1821-1828, edited by Stanley T. Williams. 1933.

Journal 1803, edited by Stanley T. Williams. 1934.

Journal 1828, and Miscellaneous Notes on Moorish Legend and History, edited by Stanley T. Williams. 1937.

The Western Journals, edited by John Francis McDermott. 1944.

Contributions to the Corrector, edited by Martin Roth. 1968.

Irving and the House of Murray (letters), edited by Ben HarrisMcClary. 1969.

Editor, The Miscellaneous Works of Goldsmith. 4 vols., 1825.

Editor, Poems (London edition), by William Cullen Bryant. 1832.

Editor, Harvey's Scenes of the Primitive Forest of America. 1841.

Translator, with Peter Irving and Georges Caines, A Voyage to the Eastern Part of Terra Firma; or, The Spanish Main, by F. Depons. 3 vols., 1806.

*

Bibliography:

A Bibliography of the Writings of Irving by Stanley T. Williams and Mary Allen Edge, 1936; in Bibliography of American Literature by Jacob Blanck, 1969; Irving: A Reference Guide by Haskell Springer, 1976; Irving Bibliography by Edwin T. Bowden, 1989.

Critical Studies:

Life and Letters of Irving by Pierre M. Irving, 4 vols., 1862-64; The Life of Irving by Stanley T. Williams, 2 vols., 1935; The World of Irving by Van Wyck Brooks, 1944; Irving and Germany by Walter A. Reichart, 1957; Irving: Moderation Displayed by Edward Wagenknecht, 1962; Irving by Lewis Leary, 1963; Irving: An American Study 1802-1835 by William L. Hedges, 1965; Irving Reconsidered: A Symposium edited by Ralph Aderman, 1969; The Worlds of Irving, 1974, and A Century of Commentary on the Works of Irving, 1976, both edited by Andrew B. Myers; Comedy and America: The Lost World of Irving by Martin Roth, 1976; Pierre M. Irving and Washington Irving: A Collaboration in Life and Letters by Wayne R. Kime, 1977; Irving by Mary Weatherspoon Bowden, 1981; Adrift in the Old World: The Psychological Pilgrimage of Irving by Jeffrey Rubin Dorsky, 1988; Tales of Adventurous Enterprise: Irving and the Poetics of Western Expansion by Peter Antelyes, 1990; Washington Irving: The Critical Reaction, 1993.

* * *

Washington Irving holds a secure place in American literary history as a pioneer in the short story form and as the country's first important and internationally acclaimed author. During his lifetime, from the end of the American Revolution almost to the Civil War, his books were both popular and critically esteemed. Only James Fenimore Cooper gave him any competition. Today his reputation has faded considerably, and most of his work is no longer read; but he remains known as a great stylist and a master storyteller, and a few of his best tales have enduring value. Unfortunately for Irving, his work seems shallow compared with the best of the generation that followed him, such as Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, and Whitman.

Irving was born in New York City, where he spent his first 32 years, received his education, and found his first literary materials. He prepared himself for writing short stories by contributing satiric pieces to his brother's newspaper at the age of 18 and later to an irregular miscellany called Salmagundi. His first great literary success came in 1809 when he published his History of New-York, supposedly written by an old Dutchman named Diedrich Knickerbocker, the same fictitious author of "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." The history is a burlesque account of New York in the days of the Dutch colonists and mercilessly lampoons the early governors. Its separate chapters read like short pieces of historical fiction. Irving is a myth-maker in this work, and today what most people know of New York's Dutch era comes from Irving, not real history.

In 1815 Irving was sent to Europe to represent the family business, but soon after he got there the company went bankrupt. Irving then had to become a professional writer, and the result of the family misfortune was The Sketch Book, the work for which he is best known. It is a collection of autobiographical pieces, essays, and stories, including his most famous tales, "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." As in these two stories Irving is at his best when he uses imagined or real supernatural machinery to activate his plots. "The Specter Bridegroom" is a good example of his method. It tells the story of a bride awaiting her bridegroom, who dies en route to the meeting. A friend entrusted to break the sad news arrives and impersonates the bridegroom. After he leaves, the family discovers that the bridegroom has died and think they have been visited by a specter. It all ends happily when the "specter" returns and elopes with the bride.

The other type of story in The Sketch Book plays heavily on sentiment or pathos and is too mawkish for contemporary taste. These include "The Wife," a tale of a faithful wife who cheerfully accepts poverty when her husband loses his fortune, and "The Widow and Her Son," the story of a stalwart young man who dies young after being trapped by a press-gang and carried off to sea.

Among the autobiographical chapters in The Sketch Book are three essays recounting Irving's Christmas visit to a country house in Yorkshire. These gave him the idea for his next book, Bracebridge Hall, which follows the format of the previous book. The character sketches of the squire, his servants, and his neighbors read like short fiction, but the outstanding chapter in the collection is a story called "The Stout Gentleman." This is an unusual story for Irving, for it uses neither sentiment nor supernatural machinery. The narrator builds up suspense by speculating about a mysterious guest at the inn where he is staying. He is dying to see the stout gentleman but manages at the end only to see his ample posterior disappearing into a stage coach. Here Irving is again the humorist, as he was in his History of New York.

Irving's next book was Tales of a Traveller, another loose collection of pieces similar to the previous books. It resulted from a sojourn in Germany and contains some very good tales, but it was savagely reviewed and was one of Irving's least successful works. One of the successful stories, "The Bold Dragoon," is a framed ghost story told to the narrator about his host's grandfather. It blends nicely both humor and real or imagined supernatural business. The best tale is "The Adventure of the German Student," a bizarre yarn set in Paris during the Reign of Terror. The student meets a woman weeping beside the guillotine late one night. He takes her home with him and falls in love with her, but the next morning he finds a corpse in his bed. She had been one of the victims of the guillotine the day before.

In 1824 Irving began studying Spanish and went to Spain, planning to translate a work then appearing on Christopher Columbus. Instead he wrote a biography of Columbus and from that time on turned mostly to nonfiction, concentrating on history and biography. His stay in Spain, however, also resulted in TheAlhambra, a book often called the Spanish sketchbook. It contains the familiar amalgam of autobiographical, historical, and descriptive essays, but it also recounts many stories. Irving actually lived in the Palace of the Alhambra for a time and was fascinated by the legends he was able to collect and retell. "The Legend of the Rose of the Alhambra" is a love story with a happy ending, and "The Legend of the Moor's Legacy" is an Arabian Nights kind of story with incantations and fabulous treasure. In both, Irving works the supernatural machinery hard.

After publishing The Alhambra Irving ended his 17-year stay in Europe and returned to the United States a celebrity. He lived another 27 years, but his days as a story writer were over. His accomplishment in this genre, however, was considerable and his influence on later writers significant. Although his reputation has dimmed, he remains a great stylist, a writer of clear, engaging prose that charms even his detractors. His aim was to produce sharp, visual images that remain in the mind after the book is closed. As a young man he once thought of being a painter, but instead he created word pictures and wrote his Sketch Book, Bracebridge Hall, and Tales of a Traveller all under the pseudonym of Geoffrey Crayon.

—James Woodress

See the essays on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle."

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Irving, Washington

Irving, Washington

Personal

Born April 3, 1783, in New York, NY; died, November 28, 1859, in Irvington, NY; son of William (a hardware dealer and Calvinist deacon) and Sarah (Sanders) Irving. Education: Attended private schools in New York until the age of fifteen.

Career

Employed in the law offices of Henry Masterson, 1798-1804; admitted to the New York Bar, 1806; writer for the Morning Chronicle and the Corrector; Analectic Magazine, Philadelphia, PA, editor, 1813-14; served as a silent partner with his brothers in the family business until 1818; attached to the U. S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, 1826-29; secretary of the U. S. legation in London, England, 1829-32; U. S. minister to Spain, 1843-46; essayist, humorist, biographer, and historian.

Writings

(With William Irving and James Kirke Paulding) Salmagundi; or, the Whimwhams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. & Others, two volumes, D. Longworth (New York, NY), 1807-1808.

(Under pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker) A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty. Containing Among many Surprising and Curious Matters, the Unutterable Ponderings of Walter the Doubter, the Disastrous Projects of William the Testy, and the Chivalric Achievements of Peter the Headstrong, the three Dutch Governors of New Amsterdam; Being the Only Authentic History of the Times That Ever Hath Been, Or Ever Will Be Published, two volumes, Inskeep & Bradford (New York, NY), 1809; revised edition, 1812.

The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., as Geoffrey Crayon, seven parts, C. S. Van Winkle (New York, NY), 1819-20.

(Under pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon) Bracebridge Hall, or the Humourists. A Medley, as Geoffrey Crayon, two volumes, C. S. Van Winkle (New York, NY), 1822.

Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent., as The Author of The Sketch Book, Clayton (New York, NY), 1824.

(Under pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon) Tales of a Traveller, two volumes, Murray (London, England), 1824, abridged edition, Carey & Lea (Philadelphia, PA), 1824.

The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, With an Account of His Life and Writings, four volumes, Galignani/Didot (Paris, France), 1825, biography revised in The Life of Oliver Goldsmith, With Selections from His Writings, two volumes, Harper (New York, NY), 1840.

A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, four volumes, G. & C. Carvill (New York, NY), 1828.

(Under pseudonym Fray Antonio Agapida) A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada, two volumes, Carey, Lea & Carey (Philadelphia, PA), 1829.

Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus, Carey & Lea (Philadelphia, PA), 1831.

(Under pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon) The Alhambra, Colburn & Bentley, 1832, published as The Author of The Sketch Book, two volumes, Carey & Lea (Philadelphia, PA), 1832, revised edition published as The Alhambra: A Series of Sketches of the Moors and Spaniards by the Author of "The Sketch Book," 1836.

A Tour on the Prairies, Murray (London, England), 1835.

Abbotsford, and the Newstead Abbey, Carey, Lea & Blanchard (Philadelphia, PA), 1835.

Legends of the Conquest of Spain, Murray (London, England), 1835.

Astoria, or, Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains, three volumes, Richard Bentley (London, England), 1836, published as Astoria, or Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains, two volumes, Carey, Lea & Blanchard (Philadelphia, PA), 1836.

Adventures of Captain Bonneville, or, Scenes beyond the Rocky Mountains of the Far West, three volumes, Bentley (London, England), 1837, published as The Rocky Mountains: Or, Scenes, Incidents, and Adventures in the Far West; Digested from the Journal of Captain B. L. E. Bonneville, of the Army of the United States, and Illustrated from Various Other Sources, two volumes, Carey, Lea & Blanchard (Philadelphia, PA), 1837, published as The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U.S.A., in the Rocky Mountains and the Far West, Putnam (New York, NY), 1849.

Biography and Poetical Remains of the Late Margaret Miller Davidson, Lea & Blanchard (Philadelphia, PA), 1841.

Mahomet and His Successors, Putnam (New York, NY), 1850, published as Lives of Mahomet and His Successors, two volumes, Murray (London, England), 1850.

Chronicles of Wolfert's Roost and Other Papers, Putnam (New York, NY), 1855.

Life of George Washington, five volumes, Putnam (New York, NY), 1855-1859.

Spanish Papers and Other Miscellanies, Hitherto Unpublished or Uncollected, edited by Pierre M. Irving, two volumes, Putnam/Hurd & Houghton (New York, NY), 1866, published as Biographies and Miscellaneous Papers by Washington Irving, Bell & Daldy (London, England), 1867.

Journals and Notebooks, five volumes, edited by Nathalia Wright, Walter A. Reichart, Lillian Schlissel, Wayne R. Kime, and Andrew B. Myers, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 1969-1985.

The Complete Works of Washington Irving, edited by Richard Dilworth Rust and others, thirty volumes, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 1969-1988).

Letters, four volumes, edited by Ralph M. Aderman, Herbert L. Kleinfield, and Jenifer S. Banks, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1978-1982.

Sidelights

Considered the first professional man of letters in the United States, Washington Irving was influential in the development of the short story form and helped to gain international respect for fledgling American literature. Following the tradition of the eighteenth-century essay exemplified by the elegant, lightly humorous prose of Joseph Addison and Oliver Goldsmith, Irving created endearing and often satiric short stories and sketches. In his mostacclaimed work, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., as Geoffrey Crayon, he wove elements of myth and folklore into narratives, such as "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," that achieved almost immediate classic status. Although Irving was also renowned in his lifetime for his extensive work in history and biography, it was through his short stories that he most strongly influenced American writing in subsequent generations and introduced a number of now-familiar images and archetypes into the body of the national literature.

Passes Up College

Irving was born and raised in New York City, the youngest of eleven children of a prosperous merchant family. A dreamy and ineffectual student, he apprenticed himself in a law office rather than follow his elder brothers to nearby Columbia College. In his free time, he read avidly and wandered when he could in the misty, rolling Hudson River Valley, an area steeped in local folklore and legend that would serve as an inspiration for his later writings.

As a nineteen-year-old, Irving began contributing satirical letters under the pseudonym Jonathan Old-style to a newspaper owned by his brother Peter. His first book, Salmagundi; or, The Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq., and Others, was a collaboration with another brother, William, and their friend James Kirke Paulding. This highly popular collection of short pieces poked fun at the political, social, and cultural life of the city. Irving enjoyed a second success in 1809 with A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty. Containing Among many Surprising and Curious Matters, the Unutterable Ponderings of Walter the Doubter, the Disastrous Projects of William the Testy, and the Chivalric Achievements of Peter the Headstrong, the three Dutch Governors of New Amsterdam; Being the Only Authentic History of the Times That Ever Hath Been, Or Ever Will Be Published a comical, deliberately inaccurate account of New York's Dutch colonization narrated by the fictitious Diedrich Knickerbocker, a fusty, colorful Dutch-American.

Irving's carefree social life and literary successes were shadowed at this time, however, by the death of his fiancé, Matilda Hoffmann, and for the next several years he floundered, wavering between a legal, mercantile, and editorial career. In 1815 he moved to England to work in the failing Liverpool branch of the family import-export business. Within three years the company was bankrupt, and, finding himself at age thirty-five without means of support, Irving decided that he would earn his living by writing. He began recording the impressions, thoughts, and descriptions which, polished and repolished in his meticulous manner, became the pieces that make up The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. The volume was brought out under the pseudonym of Geoffrey Crayon, who was purportedly a good-natured American roaming Britain on his first trip abroad.

"Rip Van Winkle"

The Sketch Book comprises some thirty parts: about half English sketches, four general travel reminiscences, six literary essays, two descriptions of the American Indian, three essentially unclassifiable pieces, and three short stories: "Rip Van Winkle," "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and "The Spectre Bridegroom." Although only the last-named tale is set in Germany, all three stories draw upon the legends of that country. Cynthia Bily in Short Stories for Students explained that "although Washington Irving's 'Rip Van Winkle' offers one of the most widely recognized characters in all of American literature, and was a part of the first book by an American to win international acclaim, it is in many ways not an American story at all. Irving was not shy about admitting, and scholars have since verified, that the basic elements of his plot were borrowed from German folk tales that he learned about through a life of reading and traveling."

"Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Richard D. Rust wrote in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, were responsible for "making Irving a pioneer of the American short story." Speaking of "Rip Van Winkle" Rust explained: "The Catskill mountains are the national scenery and the color of romance is given by Rip Van Winkle's encounter with Dutchmen in antique dress. Repeated drafts from their flagon put Rip into a deep, twenty-year sleep. On awaking and returning to his village Rip finds a bustling society of people who do not recognize him. Eventually he is identified by an old woman, his story is corroborated by a local historian, and he returns to his place at the inn where he can repeatedly tell his story in peace."

Writing in the Reference Guide to Short Fiction, Walter Evans argued that "'Rip Van Winkle' may be the most important short story ever written. Though the text is routinely misread (books seldom reprint the story as Irving wrote it) and though the story's comic tone tends to deflect serious criticism, it remains one of the world's great short stories—a peer of Gogol's 'The Overcoat' and Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis.' Historically, 'Rip Van Winkle' sparked the success of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, which assured the reputation of Washington Irving and for the first time in history made American literature worthy of international esteem."

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

"'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,' Washington Irving's classic tale of the Hudson River Valley, with its late 18th-century Dutch villagers and its ghost legends (particularly that of the 'headless horseman,' the decapitated Hessian soldier left over from the Revolutionary War), has had an unusually wide appeal for readers of all ages," according to Samuel Irving Bellman in the Reference Guide to American Literature. "The story is a familiar one," Rust recounted. "Into a sequestered Dutch settlement, which has as its chief legend the ghost story of a headless Hessian trooper, comes an itinerant schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane.... His heart yearns for Katrina Van Tassel.... Ichabod's competition, however, is Brom Bones.... The conflict comes to a head after a party . . . when Ichabod, on his gaunt horse, Gunpowder, is pursued through the woods by what appears to be a headless horseman. The goblin figure throws his head at Ichabod, and in the morning all that is found of Ichabod is his hat, with a shattered pumpkin close beside it."

The Sketch Book was published almost concurrently in the United States and England in order to escape the piracy to which literary works were vulnerable before international copyright laws, a shrewd move that many subsequent authors copied. The miscellaneous nature of The Sketch Book was an innovation that appealed to a broad range of readers; the work received a great deal of attention and sold briskly, and Irving found himself America's first international literary celebrity. In addition, the book's considerable profits allowed Irving to devote himself full-time to writing.

The Sketch Book prompted the first widespread critical response to Irving's writings. Reviewers in the United States were generally delighted with the work of their native son, and even English critics, normally hostile in that era to American authors, accorded the book generally favorable—if somewhat condescending—notice. Among the pieces singled out for praise in the early reviews were most frequently the three short stories, particularly "Rip Van Winkle." Critics found Irving's style pleasingly elegant, fine, and humorous, although some, including Richard Henry Dana, perceived a lack of intellectual content beneath the decorative surface. Dana also observed that in adopting the authorial persona of Geoffrey Crayon—with his prose style modeled after the eighteenth-century essayists—Irving lost the robustness, high color, and comic vigor of his previous incarnations as Jonathan Oldstyle, Launcelot Langstaff, and Diedrich Knickerbocker, an observation that was echoed by later critics. Subsequent "Crayon" works, such as Bracebridge Hall, Tales of a Traveller, and The Alhambra, while generally valued for their prose style, tended to prompt such complaints as that by the Irish author Maria Edgeworth that "the workmanship surpasses the work."

Remaining abroad for more than a decade after the appearance of The Sketch Book, Irving wrote steadily, capitalizing on his international success with two subsequent collections of tales and sketches that also appeared under the name Geoffrey Crayon. Bracebridge Hall; or, the Humorists: A Medley centers loosely around a fictitious English clan that Irving had introduced in several of the Sketch Book pieces. Bracebridge Hall further describes their manners, customs, and habits, and interjects several unrelated short stories, including "The Student from Salamanca" and "The Stout Gentleman." Tales of a Traveller consists entirely of short stories arranged in four categories: European stories, tales of London literary life, accounts of Italian bandits, and narrations by Irving's alter-ego, Diedrich Knickerbocker. The most enduring of these, according to many critics, are "The German Student," which some consider a significant early example of supernatural fiction, and "The Devil and Tom Walker," a Yankee tale that like "Rip Van Winkle" draws upon myth and legend for characters and incident. After 1824 Irving increasingly turned his attention from fiction and descriptive writing toward history and biography. He lived for several years in Spain, serving as a diplomatic attache to the American legation while writing a life of Christopher Columbus and a history of Granada. During this period he also began gathering material for The Alhambra, a vibrantly romantic collection of sketches and tales centered around the Moorish palace in Granada.

Irving served as secretary to the American embassy in London from 1829 until 1832, when he returned to the United States. After receiving warm accolades from the literary and academic communities, he set out on a tour of the rugged western part of the country, which took him as far as Oklahoma. The expedition resulted in three books about the region, notably A Tour on the Prairies, which provided easterners with their first description of life out west by a well-known author. Irving eventually settled near Tarrytown, New York, at a small estate on the Hudson River, which he named Sunnyside. Apart from four years in Madrid and Barcelona, which he spent as President John Tyler's minister to Spain, Irving lived there the rest of his life. Among the notable works of his later years is an extensive biography of George Washington, which Irving worked on determinedly, despite ill health, from the early 1850s until a few months before his death in 1859.

Beginning in the 1950s, critics began to explore the technical and thematic innovations in Irving's short stories. These include the integration of folklore, myth, and fable into narrative fiction; setting and landscape as a reflection of theme and mood; the expression of the supernatural and use of Gothic elements in some stories; and the tension between imagination and creativity versus materialism and productivity in nineteenth-century America. Many critics read Rip's twenty-year sleep as a rejection of the capitalistic values of his society—ferociously personified by the shrewish Dame Van Winkle—and an embracing of the world of the imagination. Ichabod Crane, too, has been viewed by such critics as representing the outcast artist-intellectual in American society, although he has been considered, conversely, as a caricature of the acquisitive, scheming Yankee Puritan, a type that Irving lampooned regularly in his early satirical writings.

Today, many critics agree that in "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Irving established an artistic standard and model for subsequent generations of American short story writers.

If you enjoy the works of Washington Irving

If you enjoy the works of Washington Irving, you might want to check out the following:

Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836.

Edgar Allan Poe, The Complete Illustrated Works of Edgar Allan Poe, 2003.

Sleepy Hollow, directed by Tim Burton, 1999.

"Irving's influence on his own times was great," Mary Weatherspoon Bowden concluded in her book Washington Irving. "His main contribution to literature was his style; no matter what he wrote, he generally wrote well. His ability to draw pictures with words and his comic renditions of character were hailed as great. Dickens and Thackery acknowledged their indebtedness to him; in the United States, Melville, Hawthorne, and Poe were indebted." In their continuing attention to the best of Irving's short fiction, critics affirm that while much of Irving's significance belongs properly to literary history, such stories as "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" belong to literary art.

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Bleiler, E. F., editor, Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror 2: A. E. Coppard to Roger Zelazny, Scribner (New York, NY), 1985.

Bowden, Mary Weatherspoon, Washington Irving, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1981.

Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography: Colonization to the American Renaissance, 1640-1865, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1988.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 3: Antebellum Writers in New York and the South, 1979, Volume 11: American Humorists, 1800-1950, 1982, Volume 30: American Historians, 1607-1865, 1984, Volume 59: American Literary Critics and Scholars, 1800-1850, 1987, Volume 73: American Magazine Journalists 1741-1850, 1988, Volume 74: American Short-Story Writers before 1880, 1988.

Harbert, Earl N., and Robert A. Rees, editors, Fifteen American Authors before 1900: Bibliographic Essays on Research and Criticism, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 1984.

Hedges, William L., Washington Irving: An American Study, 1802-1832, Johns Hopkins Press (Baltimore, MD), 1965.

Kerr, Howard, John W. Crowley, and Charles L. Crow, editors, The Haunted Dusk: American Supernatural Fiction, 1820-1920, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1983, pp. 13-36.

Leary, Lewis, Washington Irving, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1963.

McFarland, Philip, Sojourners, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1979.

Myers, Andrew B., editor, A Century of Commentary on the Works of Washington Irving, 1860-1974, Sleepy Hollow Restorations, 1976.

Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 2, 1982, Volume 19, 1988.

Pochmann, Henry A., and Gay Wilson Allen, Introductions to Masters of American Literature, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1969.

Reference Guide to American Literature, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1994.

Roth, Martin, Comedy and America: The Lost World of Washington Irving, Kennikat, 1976.

Rourke, Constance, American Humor: A Study of the National Character, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1971.

Short Stories for Students, Volume 16, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2003.

Short Story Criticism, Volume 2, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989.

Springer, Haskell, Washington Irving: A Reference Guide, G. K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1976.

Wagenknecht, Edward, Washington Irving: Moderation Displayed, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1962.

Williams, Stanley T., The Life of Washington Irving, two volumes, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1935.

World Literature Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1992.

PERIODICALS

American Literature, Volume 31, 1959, pp. 137-149.

Kenyon Review, Volume 22, 1960, pp. 573-574.

Modern Philogy, 1985, pp. 393-406.

Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 1984, pp. 415-425.

PMLA, June, 1953, pp. 425-435.

Resources for American Literary Study, 1981, pp. 257-279.*

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