The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent

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Penguin, 2006 - Fiction - 381 pages
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Sage, storyteller, and wit, Washington Irving created such staples of American fiction as the stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” He earned his preeminence in early American literature with the masterpieces in miniature collected here: dozens of stories, travel essays, biographical discourses, and literary musings. “His influence on American writers is unquestioned,” wrote Edgar Allan Poe, and his stories have proved as enduring as the Catskill Mountains the author immortalized.

“Exceptional talent….I am one of his most ardent admirers. I admired Mr. Irving’s work so much, in fact, that I gave it the ultimate praise; I ‘borrowed it.’”—Edgar Allan Poe
 
With an Introduction by Wayne Franklin
 

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Contents

Introduction
vii
Preface to the Revised Edition
3
The Authors Account of Himself
10
The Voyage
14
Roscoe
21
The Wife
28
Rip Van Winkle
36
English Writers on America
56
The Specter Bridegroom
156
Westminster Abbey
172
Christmas
184
The Stagecoach
190
Christmas Eve
197
Christmas Day
209
The Christmas Dinner
223
London Antiques
238

Rural Life in England
65
The Broken Heart
73
The Art of Bookmaking
79
A Royal Poet
86
The Country Church
101
The Widow and Her Son
107
A Sunday in London
115
The Boars Head Tavern Eastcheap
118
The Mutability of Literature
130
Rural Funerals
141
The Inn Kitchen
153
Little Britain
244
StratfordonAvon
259
Traits of Indian Character
279
Philip of Pokanoket
290
John Bull
307
The Pride of the Village
319
The Angler
328
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
338
LEnvoi
370
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About the author (2006)

Though trained for law, Washington Irving (1783–1859) turned to writing. The humorous A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty (1809), written under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, won him wide popularity. In 1815, Irving journeyed to England to manage a branch of the family business. This venture ended in failure, and he was compelled to write to support himself. International fame came with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819–20). In 1826, Irving went to Spain on a diplomatic assignment. His three-year stay there inspired The History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828) and The Alhambra (1832). In 1829, he was assigned to London as secretary of the United States legation, and after extensive traveling, he served as minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846. Then Irving returned to his home in Tarrytown, New York, where he worked and studied until his death.
 
Wayne Franklin, professor of English and director of American Studies at the University of Connecticut, is the author of several books on early American literature and culture, including Discoverers, Explorers, Settlers and The New World of James Fenimore Cooper. An editor of the Norton Anthology of American Literature, he is also founding editor of the American Land and Life series, published by the University of Iowa Press.

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