Washington Irving

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 that deal with subjects such as Alhambra, Christopher Columbus and the Moors. Irving served as American ambassador to Spain in the 1840s.
Born and raised in Manhattan to a merchant family, Irving made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. He temporarily moved to England for the family business in 1815 where he achieved fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., serialized from 181920. He continued to publish regularly throughout his life, and he completed a five-volume biography of George Washington just eight months before his death at age 76 in Tarrytown, New York.
Irving was one of the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and he encouraged other American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe. He was also admired by some British writers, including Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Francis Jeffrey and Walter Scott. He advocated for writing as a legitimate profession and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement.


eBooks: Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey | An Old Fashioned Christmas Day | Astoria | Bracebridge Hall | Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists | Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada | Knickerbocker’s History of New York, Complete | Little Britain | Old Christmas | Oliver Goldsmith | Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911 | Rip Van Winkle | Spanish Papers | Tales of a Traveller | The Adventures of Captain Bonneville | The Alhambra | The Christmas dinner | The Crayon Papers | The Life of George Washington, Volume I | The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. | The Student’s Life of Washington; Condensed from the Larger Work of Washington Irving | Wolfert’s Roost and Miscellanies

Works by Washington Irving: