Washington Irving, 3 Apr 1783 - 28 Nov 1859 Search this
Object: 66.7 x 36.8 x 27.3cm (26 1/4 x 14 1/2 x 10 3/4")
Trained as a lawyer, Washington Irving found the law tedious and drifted into writing, publishing the first of his comic tales, A History of New York, in 1809. He went on to become a popular and critical success in both America and England with such tales as "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Irving modeled his writing on a romanticized view of history as embodied in the novels of Sir Walter Scott. His originality came from basing that style in distinctly American material, especially his wry delineation of well-known American "types."