Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy birthday, Washington Irving

Washington Irving
It is the birthday of historian and author Washington Irving (1783), who is best known for his short stories Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, though he also wrote biographies of Muhammad, Oliver Goldsmith and George Washington as well as books on the Moors of Spain, the Alhambra and Christopher Columbus. Irving's work was popular in Europe and he may have been the first American best-selling author. he was a favorite of Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell and Sir Walter Scott. He offered encouragement to such American literary luminaries as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe. Irving's nephew, Theodore Irving, wrote Conquest of Florida, a history of Florida under Hernando de Soto.

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