Washington Irving Facts

Washington Irving Facts
Washington Irving was an American author best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle". He was born on April 3rd, 1783 in New York City, New York, to William Irving, a petty officer from the British Navy, and Sarah Sanders Irving. Only eight of their eleven children survived to adulthood including William, Jr., Ann, Peter, Catherine, Ebenezer, John, Sarah, and Washington. Washington was born the same week that the American Revolution ended. Washington was named after the hero of the American Revolution - George Washington. Washington grew up to study law, but after barely passing the bar he began to write seriously instead of pursuing a law career.
Interesting Washington Irving Facts:
Washington Irving met his namesake when he was six years old, when the president George Washington visited New York.
Washington began to write letters and journals while traveling through Italy and France, prior to his decision to quit law and write for a living.
In 1807-8 Washington and his brother William wrote a collection of humorous essays titled Salamagundi.
In 1809 Washington Irving's comical work (written under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker) A History of New York, was published.
Under the pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon, Washington Irving published a collection of short stories and essays titled The Sketch Book, in 1819.
In The Sketch Book were Washington Irving's famous short stories "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".
Washington traveled to Europe where he lived for several years and eventually became the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, in Madrid.
Washington went on to serve as a secretary of US Legation in London, and then he returned to his position in Spain again.
Following his work as a diplomat in Europe Washington returned to the United States and lived near Tarrytown in New York, at his estate called 'Sunnyside'.
Washington Irving published several more collections during his literary career including Bracebridge Hall (1822), Tales of a Traveller (1824), Tales of the Alhambra (1832), and The Crayon Miscellany (1835).
Washington Irving wrote several biographies including A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828), Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus (1831), Astoria (1836), The Adventures of Captain Bonneville (1837), The Life of Oliver Goldsmith (1840), Biography and Poetical Remains of the Late Margaret Miller Davidson (1841), Lives of Mahomet and His Successors (1850), Wolfert's Roost (1855), and The Life of George Washington (5 volumes).
Washington Irving also wrote a romantic history book titled Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada (1829), under the pseudonym Fray Antonio Agapida.
Washington Irving is credited with the nickname for New York City - "Gotham".
Washington Irving is credited with perfecting the American short story, and for writing for entertainment as opposed to enlightening.
Washington Irving was known for inspiring and encouraging young writers to pursue their craft.
Washington Irving was the first to feature St, Nicholas soaring in the sky in a wagon - an image he included in a dream sequence in his book A History of New York. This went on to inspire the image of Santa Claus soaring in the sky in his sleigh.
Washington Irving's story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" would go on to be featured in various forms of media including a feature film starring Johnny Depp.


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