Named after General George Washington, Washington Irving was the first American writer to achieve best-selling international renown.
Criticized by many Americans during his own lifetime for relocating to Europe, where he wrote travelogues, he claimed that any good he might do the new republic would come from his pen, not a sword. His colorful descriptive passages—of animals, of nature, of people—attest to the keen eye and well-turned phrase that made his travelogues famous throughout Europe and the new United States. He completed a five-volume biography of George Washington just eight months before his own death at the age of 76.
Today’s story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and its protagonist, the homely Ichabod Crane, are considered stock American literary elements. So is the life of Washington Irving—a life full of grand accomplishments, colorful anecdotes, and rich American history.
Part One of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow….