Washington Irving Essay

1777 words - 8 pages

Washington Irving
Washington Irving was considered to be the first professional man of letters and was influential in the development of short stories. He was the first author to sell his stories abroad other than America. Washington Irving was born and raised in New York City on April 3, 1783, and he was the youngest of eleven children. Washington Irving was the first American to make a living as an author during his career in the early 1800’s. His short stories left a lasting and of most influential work. Irving’s short stories and poems were one of the first folk stories wrote and are still read about today.
Washington Irving graduated from private school in 1798. He went on to law ...view middle of the document...

He was also a diplomat for the United States. His first major book was from the beginning of the world to the end of the Dutch Dynasty it was a satire on local history.
While he was in England he wrote his most memorable work; The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. The book consisted of thirty parts: about half in English sketches, four general travel reminisces, six literary essays, two descriptions of the American Indian, three essentially unclassicable pieces and three short stories.
The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. was written between 1819-1820. The tone Washington Irving uses is trying to tell you about his own experiences and journeys using mythical and legendary characters. He uses imagery of what he has seen in real life and very descriptive language in his writing to draw his readers attention to his stories. Mainly The Sketch Book dealt with British manners and customs. Two of the short stories the book contained was “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” These were published between 1819-1820.
“Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” are Washington’s two most famous books. “Rip Van Winkle” was one of the famous stories of the collection of The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon. Rip Van Winkle was written in 1819 the story had any elements to it such as freedom, nature, and as well as the supernatural. It was set in the Catskills Mountains of New York, but yet when he was writing this short story he had never been there. Rip Van Winkle was of a man who was trying to get away from his nagging wife and went up the mountain to get away from her. While walking up the mountain he heard a man call out his name, once Rip Van Winkle found him the man needed help carrying a barrel up the mountain. Even though he thought that it was strange that this man knew his name, he still continued to help the man carry the barrel up the mountain. Once they got on top of the mountain the man asked if he wanted a drink, Rip Van Winkle took a drink not knowing what it was and fell asleep. He slept for twenty years. When he woke up he was happy because he didn’t have a nagging wife and he didn’t have to work as hard as he once did. His children didn’t recognize him and his dog didn’t even recognize him. Once he explained to them what happened, they took him in and took care of him. Washington Irving makes the story easy to read but also to make you think and to try and understand what is taking place and what is going on around you. “Rip Van Winkle” published 2000 copies and that were sold at a pricey 75 cents a copy. The book was released June 23,1819 in New York, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was a story set in Tarrytown, New York in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. The town would continuously tell old folk stories that the streets were haunted. Sleepy Hollow was renowned for its ghosts and haunting atmosphere, the most infamous is the legend of the Headless Horseman. The...

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