Thursday, April 3, 2008

Today In History; Washington Irving, Author

1783: Washington Irving was born after the American Revolution; many people, therefore, consider him to be the first genuine American writer. He practiced law, storekeeping, soldiering, and newspaper writing until he had his first literary success, A History of New York. The book was a humorous review of the Dutch influence in New York City, written under the pen name Diedrich Knickerbocker. More books followed, including a carefully researched history of the voyages of Columbus. But his most famous works are his supernaturally tinged short stories, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle," both of which still have wide audiences today.

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