Washington Irving (Hardcover)
History, Tales & Sketches (LOA #16): The Sketch Book / A History of New York / Salmagundi / Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent. (Library of America Washington Irving Edition #1)
Library of America, 9780940450141, 1144pp.
Publication Date: November 15, 1983
A History of New York, publicized by an elaborate hoax in the local newspapers concerning the disappearance of the elderly “Diedrich Knickerbocker,” turned out to be a wild and hilarious spoof that combined real New York history with political satire. Quickly reprinted in England, it was admired by Walter Scott and Charles Dickens (who carried his copy in his pocket). In later years, as Irving revised and re-revised his History, he softened his gibes at Thomas Jefferson, the Dutch, and the Yankees of New England; this Library of America volume presents the work in its original, exuberant, robust, and unexpurgated form, giving modern readers a chance to enjoy the version that brought him immediate international acclaim.
The Sketch Book contains Irving’s two best-loved stories, “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It also includes many sketches of English country and city life, as well as nostalgic portraits of vanishing traditions, like the old celebrations of Christmas.
A writer of great urbanity and poise, acutely sensitive to the nostalgia of a passing age, Washington Irving was a central figure in America’s emergence on the international scene.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
About the Author
James W. Tuttleton (1902–1996), volume editor, was chairman of the Department of English at New York University and a co-editor of The Gotham Library. His books on American literature include The Novel of Manners in America and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.