Washington Irving: An American Original

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Arcade Pub., 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 468 pages
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Product Description: The first American writer to make his pen his primary means of support, Washington Irving rocketed to fame at the age of 26. In 1809 he published A History of New York under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker to great acclaim. The public's appetite for all things Irving was insatiable; his name alone guaranteed sales. At the time, he was one of the most famous men in the world, a friend of Dickens, Hawthorne, and Longfellow, as well as Astor, Van Buren, and Madison. But his sparkling public persona was only one side of this gentleman author. In brilliant, meticulous strokes, Brian Jay Jones renders Washington Irving in all his flawed splendor-someone who fretted about money and employment, suffered from writer's block, and doggedly cultivated his reputation. Jones offers as never before a very human portrait of the often contrasting public and private lives of this true American original.

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User Review  - Midnightdreary - LibraryThing

The author of this book apologized in his preface for avoiding significant discussion of Irving's literary output. Instead, he offers a fantastic portrayal of Irving the man - enmeshed, inextricably ... Read full review

Washington Irving: An American Original

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Known to most modern readers of American fiction as the author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle," Washington Irving (1783-1859) has been passed down to us as the rather stodgy ... Read full review


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