Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories “Rip Van Winkle” (1819) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820), both of which appear in his collection, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of Oliver Goldsmith, Muhammad, and George Washington, as well as several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Alhambra, Christopher Columbus, and the Moors. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. He made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. After moving to England for the family business in 1815, he achieved international fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., serialized from 1819-20. He continued to publish regularly-and almost always successfully-throughout his life, and just eight months before his death (at age 76, in Tarrytown, New York), completed a five-volume biography of George Washington. Irving, along with James Fenimore Cooper, was among the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and Irving encouraged American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe. Irving was also admired by some European writers, including Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Charles Dickens, Francis Jeffrey, and Walter Scott. Also, as the United States’ first internationally best-selling author, Irving advocated for writing as a legitimate profession and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement. Washington Irving’s parents were William Irving, Sr., originally of Quholm, Shapinsay, Orkney, Scotland, and Sarah (n e Sanders), both Scottish-English immigrants. They married in 1761 while William was serving as a petty officer in the British Navy. They had eleven children, eight of whom survived to adulthood. Their first two sons, each named William, died in infancy, as did their fourth child, John. Their surviving children were: William, Jr. (1766), Ann (1770), Peter (1771), Catherine (1774), Ebenezer (1776), John Treat (1778), Sarah (1780), and Washington.The Irving family settled in Manhattan, New York and was part of the city’s small, vibrant merchant class when Washington Irving was born on April 3, 1783, the same week New York City residents learned of the British ceasefire that ended the American Revolution; Irving’s mother named him after the hero of the revolution, George Washington.At age 6, with the help of a nanny, Irving met his namesake, who was then living in New York after his inauguration as President of the United States, in 1789. The president blessed young Irving, an encounter Irving later commemorated in a small watercolor painting, which continues to hang in his home.The Irvings lived at 131 William Street at the time of Washington Irving’s birth. The family later moved across the street to 128 William St. Several of Washington Irving’s older brothers became active New York merchants, and they encouraged their younger brother’s literary aspirations….
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Pub Date: 02/2018
Size: 10.00h x 7.99w x 0.15d