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biography
The Original Knickerbocker: The Life of Washington Irving
 
 
Author
Andrew Burstein.
Publisher Basic Books  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9 x 5.5 x 1.05 inches
ISBN 9780465008544
Pages/Publication Date 420/2007
Daedalus Item Code 32991
This item is not available.
Description
Washington Irving—author, ambassador, Manhattanite, and international celebrity—has largely slipped from America's memory, though he gave his young nation such enduring tales as "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." Andrew Burstein returns Irving to the context of his native 19th century where he was a major celebrity—both a colorful comic genius and the first name in our national literature.

"Washington Irving ... was the first American author to win European acceptance and likely the first American author to be able to make a living at writing. Despite such success, Irving has found his prominence in the American literary canon increasingly eclipsed by other 19th-century writers—Edgar Allan Poe, for example—whose prose is less dependent upon nuanced awareness of that period's political climate. With this book, historian Burstein makes a compelling case for Irving's continued relevance, not as a literary light but as a catalytic figure in American cultural history. A Manhattanite as New York became a city, and a talented writer of whimsical satire at the blossoming of the worldwide literary marketplace, Irving was at the right place at the right time. But, Burstein argues, Irving's uncommon character—well read and well traveled, immersed in politics yet unmotivated to conform to a life of mercantile or domestic drudgery—would make him uniquely able to define the American national consciousness with his literature."—Booklist

 
 
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