Washington Irving Esquire Author:George S. Hellman George S. Hellman's, Washington Irving Esquire: Ambassador at Large from the New World to the Old presents a fresh look on the life of this American born author and diplomat who lived from 1783-1859. A large group of Irving's journals, notebooks, unpublished letters in the Library of Congress and the State Department at Washington, personal book... more »s and papers were used as sources for this biography.
In his early career, Irving wrote a series of humorous and satirical essays. Under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, he published A History of New York (1809), a satire that has been called the first great book of comic literature written by an American.
The stories (including "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"), collected in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (London, 1820), appeared serially in New York in 1819n20; their enthusiastic reception made Irving the best known figure in American literature both at home and abroad. Irving is also known for his biography of Columbus (1828), The Conquest of Granada (1829), and The Alhambra (1832).
Irving was master of a graceful and unobtrusively sophisticated prose style. A gentle but effective satirist, he was the creator of a few widely loved essays and tales that have made his name endure. Illustrated with old engravings; facsimiles of Irving's letters and manuscripts; and sketches by Irving himself.« less