Washington Irving (April 03, 1783 - November 28, 1859)
Born: 3rd April, 1783
Died: 28th November, 1859
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Writer
Region: New York City, New York, Tarrytown
Notable works: "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", "A History of New York", "Rip Van Winkle", "The Sketch Book", "The Devil and Tom Walker", "The Alhambra"

Washington Irving Facts

Biography

Washington Irving, (born April 3, 1783, New York, New York, U.S.—died November 28, 1859, Tarrytown, New York), writer called the “first American man of letters.” He is best known for the short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.”

The favourite and last of 11 children of an austere Presbyterian father and a genial Anglican mother, young, frail Irving grew up in an atmosphere of indulgence. He escaped a college education, which his father required of his older sons, but read intermittently at the law, notably in the office of Josiah Ogden Hoffman, with whose pretty daughter Matilda he early fell in love. He wrote a series of whimsically satirical essays over the signature of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent., published in Peter Irving’s newspaper, the Morning Chronicle, in 1802–03. He made several trips up the Hudson, another into Canada for his health, and took an extended tour of Europe in 1804–06.

On his return he passed the bar examination late in 1806 and soon set up as a lawyer. But during 1807–08 his chief occupation was to collaborate with his brother William and James K. Paulding in the writing of a series of 20 periodical essays entitled Salmagundi. Concerned primarily with passing phases of contemporary society, the essays retain significance as an index to the social milieu.

His A History of New York . . . by Diedrich Knickerbocker (1809) was a comic history of the Dutch regime in New York, prefaced by a mock-pedantic account of the world from creation onward. Its writing was interrupted in April 1809 by the sudden death of Matilda Hoffman, as grief incapacitated him. In 1811 he moved to Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist for the Irving brothers’ hardware-importing firm, but his life seemed aimless for some years. He prepared an American edition of Thomas Campbell’s poems, edited the Analectic Magazine, and acquired a staff colonelcy during the War of 1812. In 1815 he went to Liverpool to look after the interests of his brothers’ firm. In London he met Sir Walter Scott, who encouraged him to renewed effort. The result was The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent (1819–20), a collection of stories and essays that mix satire and whimsicality with fact and fiction. Most of the book’s 30-odd pieces concern Irving’s impressions of England, but six chapters deal with American subjects. Of these, the tales “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” have been called the first American short stories. They are both Americanized versions of German folktales. The main character of “Rip Van Winkle” is a henpecked husband who sleeps for 20 years and awakes as an old man to find his wife dead, his daughter happily married, and America now an independent country. The tremendous success of The Sketch Book in both England and the United States assured Irving that he could live by his pen. In 1822 he produced Bracebridge Hall, a sequel to The Sketch Book. He traveled in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, the British Isles, and later in his own country.

Early in 1826 he accepted the invitation of Alexander H. Everett to attach himself to the American legation in Spain, where he wrote his Columbus (1828), followed by The Companions of Columbus (1831). Meanwhile, Irving had become absorbed in the legends of the Moorish past and wrote A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada (1829) and The Alhambra (1832), a Spanish counterpart of The Sketch Book.

After a 17-year absence Irving returned to New York in 1832, where he was warmly received. He made a journey west and produced in rapid succession A Tour of the Prairies (1835), Astoria (1836), and The Adventures of Captain Bonneville (1837). Except for four years (1842–46) as minister to Spain, Irving spent the remainder of his life at his home, “Sunnyside,” in Tarrytown, on the Hudson River, where he devoted himself to literary pursuits.

Top 44 Washington Irving quotes

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
Everything
Fountain
Gladness
Heart
Kind
Making
Smiles
A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother's love endures through all.
Back
Become
Brothers
Brothers and sisters
Child
Desert
Endures
Enemies
Father
His
Husbands
Inveterate
Love
May
A woman's whole life is a history of the affections.
Affections
History
Life
Life is a
Whole
Woman
Acting provides the fulfillment of never being fulfilled. You're never as good as you'd like to be. So there's always something to hope for.
Acting
Always
Being
Fulfilled
Fulfillment
Good
Hope
Like
Never
Provides
Something
You
The easiest thing to do, whenever you fail, is to put yourself down by blaming your lack of ability for your misfortunes.
Ability
Blaming
Down
Easiest
Easiest thing
Fail
Lack
Misfortunes
Put
Thing
Whenever
You
Your
Yourself
Age is a matter of feeling, not of years.
Age
Feeling
Matter
Years
One of the greatest and simplest tools for learning more and growing is doing more.
Doing
Greatest
Growing
Learning
More
Simplest
Tools
Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.
Above
Great
Great minds
Little
Little minds
Minds
Misfortune
Rise
Rise above
Subdued
Tamed
Them
They who drink beer will think beer.
Beer
Drink
Think
Who
Will
Some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles.
Almost
Create
Disadvantage
Every
Irresistible
Minds
Obstacles
Seem
Solitary
Some
Themselves
Thousand
Through
Up
It is not poverty so much as pretense that harasses a ruined man - the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse - the keeping up of a hollow show that must soon come to an end.
Between
Come
Empty
End
Hollow
Keeping
Man
Mind
Much
Must
Poverty
Pretense
Proud
Purse
There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.
Adversity
Broad
Dark
Daylight
Every
Fire
Heart
Heavenly
Hour
Lies
Prosperity
Spark
True
Up
The idol of today pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection; and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of tomorrow.
Hero
His
Idol
Our
Out
Pushes
Recollection
Successor
Today
Tomorrow
Turn
Will
Yesterday
There is in every woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.
Adversity
Broad
Dark
Daylight
Every
Fire
Heart
Heavenly
Hour
Lies
Prosperity
Spark
Up
Which
Temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.
Age
Constant
Grows
Never
Only
Sharp
Temper
Tongue
Tool
Use
The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal - every other affliction to forget: but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open - this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude.
Affliction
Brood
Cherish
Consider
Dead
Divorced
Duty
Every
Forget
Heal
Keep
Only
Open
Other
The tongue is the only tool that gets sharper with use.
Gets
Only
Sharper
Tongue
Tool
Use
There is a healthful hardiness about real dignity that never dreads contact and communion with others however humble.
About
Communion
Contact
Dignity
However
Humble
Never
Others
Real
Young lawyers attend the courts, not because they have business there, but because they have no business.
Attend
Because
Business
Courts
Lawyers
No business
Young
Rising genius always shoots out its rays from among the clouds, but these will gradually roll away and disappear as it ascends to its steady luster.
Always
Among
Away
Clouds
Disappear
Genius
Gradually
Out
Rays
Rising
Roll
Shoots
Steady
Will
Those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home.
Abroad
Apt
Discipline
Home
Men
Most
Those
Who
There is never jealousy where there is not strong regard.
Jealousy
Never
Regard
Strong
Where
Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.
Back
Flow
Heart
Lost
Love
Love is
Never
Purify
Reciprocated
Soften
Will
Who ever hears of fat men heading a riot, or herding together in turbulent mobs? No - no, your lean, hungry men who are continually worrying society, and setting the whole community by the ears.
Community
Continually
Ears
Ever
Fat
Heading
Hears
Hungry
Lean
Men
Riot
Setting
Society
Together
Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.
Great
Great minds
Minds
Others
Purposes
Wishes
The natural effect of sorrow over the dead is to refine and elevate the mind.
Dead
Effect
Elevate
Mind
Natural
Over
Refine
Sorrow
There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.
Delights
Fills
Majesty
Noble
Scenery
Serene
Settled
Soul
Woodland
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.
Contrition
Deep
Eloquently
Grief
Love
Mark
More
Overwhelming
Power
Sacredness
Speak
Tears
Ten
Than
A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.
Age
Constant
Grows
Never
Only
Sharp
Tart
Temper
Tongue
Tool
Use
The natural principle of war is to do the most harm to our enemy with the least harm to ourselves; and this of course is to be effected by stratagem.
Course
Effected
Enemy
Harm
Least
Most
Natural
Our
Ourselves
Principle
War
I am always at a loss at how much to believe of my own stories.
Always
Am
Believe
How
How much
I am
Loss
Much
My own
Own
Stories
An inexhaustible good nature is one of the most precious gifts of heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather.
Gifts
Good
Good nature
Heaven
Inexhaustible
Itself
Keeping
Like
Mind
Most
Nature
Oil
Over
Precious
Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.
Enough
Little
Man
Nothing
Too
Whom
Marriage is the torment of one, the felicity of two, the strife and enmity of three.
Enmity
Felicity
Marriage
Strife
Three
Torment
Two
I've had it with you and your emotional constipation!
Emotional
Had
You
Your
A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.
Constant
Edge
Grows
Only
Sharp
Tongue
Tool
Use
Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.
Charity
Christmas
Fire
Flame
Hall
Heart
Hospitality
Season
He is the true enchanter, whose spell operates, not upon the senses, but upon the imagination and the heart.
He
Heart
Imagination
Senses
Spell
True
Whose
Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.
Departing
Distant
Falls
Friends
Heart
Like
Mellow
Memory
Rays
Sadly
Sun
Sweet
Tenderly
After all, it is the divinity within that makes the divinity without; and I have been more fascinated by a woman of talent and intelligence, though deficient in personal charms, than I have been by the most regular beauty.
After
Beauty
Been
Charms
Deficient
Divinity
Fascinated
Intelligence
Makes
More
Most
Personal
Regular
Talent
There is certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position, and be bruised in a new place.
Bad
Bruised
Certain
Change
Comfort
Even
Found
New
New place
Often
Place
Position
Relief
Shift
The land of literature is a fairy land to those who view it at a distance, but, like all other landscapes, the charm fades on a nearer approach, and the thorns and briars become visible.
Approach
Become
Charm
Distance
Fades
Fairy
Land
Landscapes
Like
Literature
Nearer
Other
Thorns
Those
Honest good humor is the oil and wine of a merry meeting, and there is no jovial companionship equal to that where the jokes are rather small and laughter abundant.
Abundant
Companionship
Equal
Good
Honest
Humor
Jokes
Laughter
Meeting
Merry
Oil
Rather
Small
Where
Indeed, there is an eloquence in true enthusiasm that is not to be doubted.
Doubted
Eloquence
Enthusiasm
Indeed
True

Washington Irving books

Tales of the Alhambra

Tales of the Alhambra

George Washington: A Biography

George Washington: A Biography

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories: Or, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (Modern Library Classics)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories: Or, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (Modern Library Classics)

Old Christmas: From the Sketch Book of Washington Irving

Old Christmas: From the Sketch Book of Washington Irving

The Complete Tales Of Washington Irving

The Complete Tales Of Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, and Other Stories (with an Introduction by Charles Addison Dawson)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, and Other Stories (with an Introduction by Charles Addison Dawson)

Washington Irving: The Definitive Biography of America's First Bestselling Author

Washington Irving: The Definitive Biography of America's First Bestselling Author

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow [Classic Tales Edition]

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow [Classic Tales Edition]

The Historically Annotated Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Historically Annotated Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon

The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon

Washington Irving: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Illustrated edition)

Washington Irving: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Illustrated edition)

Washington Irving essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Hamlet's Usage of Language being a Weapon Essay
Because the dawn of civilization, terminology has been acknowledged as a powerful instrument to manipulate and control persons. During the fifth century BC, the Sophists of Historical Greece started to give lessons in rhetoric and debate. These philosophers for hire realized that the pen is really mightier than the sword, or perhaps as Rosencrantz said, "…many wearing rapiers are afraid of goosequills. " (II. ii. 357) This identified importance of terminology is evidently evident in the enjoy Hamlet, in which words are very important driving makes for the plot. For most characters..
Teaching American Literature industry Constrained State Essay
Education is changing in the fast paced world we all live in. While educators and course designers we must alter with the occasions as well. The thought of long, slow coursework has come to an end. The direction education is acquiring us is to teach a curriculum of only 2 works by American authors per class. All of us, as teachers, must select the most relevant and time honored programs as possible to achieve this. The works I have picked are "Rip Van Winkle" by Wa Irving and "Huckleberry Finn" by Indicate Twain. Each one of these is classic and addresses to us from a historical viewpoint.Rip..
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