Archiv der Kategorie: Irving, Washington

Irving, Washington. Washington Irving (1783-1859), American man of letters, was born at New York on the 3rd of April 1783. Both his parents were immigrants from Great Britain, his father, originally an officer in the merchant service, but at the time of Irving’s birth a considerable merchant, having come from the Orkneys, and his mother from Falmouth. Irving was intended for the legal profession, but his studies were interrupted by an illness necessitating a voyage to Europe, in the course of which he proceeded as far as Rome, and made the acquaintance of Washington Allston. He was called to the bar upon his return, but made little effort to practice, preferring to amuse himself with literary ventures. The first of these of any importance, a satirical miscellany entitled Salmagundi, or the Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff and others, written in conjunction with his brother William and J. K. Paulding, gave ample proof of his talents as a humorist. These were still more conspicuously displayed in his next attempt, A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by “Diedrich Knickerbocker” (2 vols., New York, 1809). The satire of Salmagundi had been principally local, and the original design of “Knickerbocker’s” History was only to burlesque a pretentious disquisition on the history of the city in a guidebook by Dr Samuel Mitchell. The idea expanded as Irving proceeded, and he ended by not merely satirizing the pedantry of local antiquaries, but by creating a distinct literary type out of the solid Dutch burgher whose phlegm had long been an object of ridicule to the mercurial Americans. Though far from the most finished of Irving’s productions, “Knickerbocker” manifests the most original power, and is the most genuinely national in its quaintness and drollery. The very tardiness and prolixity of the story are skillfully made to heighten the humorous effect.
Upon the death of his father, Irving had become a sleeping partner in his brother’s commercial house, a branch of which was established at Liverpool. This, combined with the restoration of peace, induced him to visit England in 1815, when he found the stability of the firm seriously compromised. After some years of ineffectual struggle it became bankrupt. This misfortune compelled Irving to resume his pen as a means of subsistence. His reputation had preceded him to England, and the curiosity naturally excited by the then unwonted apparition of a successful American author procured him admission into the highest literary circles, where his popularity was ensured by his amiable temper and polished manners. As an American, moreover, he stood aloof from the political and literary disputes which then divided England. Campbell, Jeffrey, Moore, Scott, were counted among his friends, and the last-named zealously recommended him to the publisher Murray, who, after at first refusing, consented (1820) to bring out The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (7 pts., New York, 1819-1820). The most interesting part of this work is the description of an English Christmas, which displays a delicate humor not unworthy of the writer’s evident model Addison. Some stories and sketches on American themes contribute to give it variety; of these Rip van Winkle is the most remarkable. It speedily obtained the greatest success on both sides of the Atlantic. Bracebridge Hall, or the Humourists (2 vols., New York), a work purely English in subject, followed in 1822, and showed to what account the American observer had turned his experience of English country life. The humor is, nevertheless, much more English than American. Tales of a Traveller (4 pts.) appeared in 1824 at Philadelphia, and Irving, now in comfortable circumstances, determined to enlarge his sphere of observation by a journey on the continent. After a long course of travel he settled down at Madrid in the house of the American consul Rich. His intention at the time was to translate the Coleccion de los Viajes y Descubrimientos (Madrid, 1825-1837) of Martin Fernandez de Navarrete; finding, however, that this was rather a collection of valuable materials than a systematic biography, he determined to compose a biography of his own by its assistance, supplemented by independent researches in the Spanish archives. His History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (London, 4 vols.) appeared in 1828, and obtained a merited success. The Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus (Philadelphia, 1831) followed; and a prolonged residence in the south of Spain gave Irving materials for two highly picturesque books, A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada from the MSS. of [an imaginary] Fray Antonio Agapida (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1829), and The Alhambra: a series of tales and sketches of the Moors and Spaniards (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1832). Previous to their appearance he had been appointed secretary to the embassy at London, an office as purely complimentary to his literary ability as the legal degree which he about the same time received from the university of Oxford.
Returning to the United States in 1832, after seventeen years‘ absence, he found his name a household word, and himself universally honored as the first American who had won for his country recognition on equal terms in the literary republic. After the rush of fêtes and public compliments had subsided, he undertook a tour in the western prairies, and returning to the neighborhood of New York built for himself a delightful retreat on the Hudson, to which he gave the name of “Sunnyside.” His acquaintance with the New York millionaire John Jacob Astor prompted his next important work — Astoria (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1836), a history of the fur-trading settlement founded by Astor in Oregon, deduced with singular literary ability from dry commercial records, and, without labored attempts at word-painting, evincing a remarkable faculty for bringing scenes and incidents vividly before the eye. The Adventures of Captain Bonneville (London and Philadelphia, 1837), based upon the unpublished memoirs of a veteran explorer, was another work of the same class. In 1842 Irving was appointed ambassador to Spain. He spent four years in the country, without this time turning his residence to literary account; and it was not until two years after his return that Forster’s life of Goldsmith, by reminding him of a slight essay of his own which he now thought too imperfect by comparison to be included among his collected writings, stimulated him to the production of his Life of Oliver Goldsmith, with Selections from his Writings (2 vols., New York, 1849). Without pretensions to original research, the book displays an admirable talent for employing existing material to the best effect. The same may be said of The Lives of Mahomet and his Successors (New York, 2 vols., 1840-1850). Here as elsewhere Irving correctly discriminated the biographer’s province from the historian’s, and leaving the philosophical investigation of cause and effect to writers of Gibbon’s caliber, applied himself to represent the picturesque features of the age as embodied in the actions and utterances of its most characteristic representatives. His last days were devoted to his Life of George Washington (5 vols., 1855-1859, New York and London), undertaken in an enthusiastic spirit, but which the author found exhausting and his readers tame. His genius required a more poetical theme, and indeed the biographer of Washington must be at least a potential soldier and statesman. Irving just lived to complete this work, dying of heart disease at Sunnyside, on the 28th of November 1859.
Although one of the chief ornaments of American literature, Irving is not characteristically American. But he is one of the few authors of his period who really manifest traces of a vein of national peculiarity which might under other circumstances have been productive. “Knickerbocker’s” History of New York, although the air of mock solemnity which constitutes the staple of its humor is peculiar to no literature, manifests nevertheless a power of reproducing a distinct national type. Had circumstances taken Irving to the West, and placed him amid a society teeming with quaint and genial eccentricity, he might possibly have been the first Western humorist, and his humor might have gained in depth and richness. In England, on the other hand, everything encouraged his natural fastidiousness; he became a refined writer, but by no means a robust one. His biographies bear the stamp of genuine artistic intelligence, equally remote from compilation and disquisition. In execution they are almost faultless; the narrative is easy, the style pellucid, and the writer’s judgment nearly always in accordance with the general verdict of history. Without ostentation or affectation, he was exquisite in all things, a mirror of loyalty, courtesy and good taste in all his literary connexions, and exemplary in all the relations of domestic life. He never married, remaining true to the memory of an early attachment blighted by death.

The Life Of Mahomet

The Life Of Mahomet – Washington Irving

The poverty of our literature in reference to Mahomet and Mahometanism is so conspicuous and so inconvenient that we may well receive with gratitude the author’s very able endeavour to relieve it. With freedom from prejudice and independence of judgment, he combines an extensive and intimate knowledge of the most authentic sources of information, and, after several years of labour, has produced this volume in the hope of contributing to the complete elucidation and final settlement of Mahomet’s real character and claims. After a careful examination of them, and after comparing them with those of sundry of his predecessors and contemporaries, it appears to us that the author has abundant reason to be gratified with the success he has achieved. Most conscientiously prepared, and based on authorities whom the Moslems themselves appeal to as decisive, his work may be used with equal confidence both by the historian and the controversialist. We heartily commend it to every one who, on so important a subject, desires to have what, on the whole, is probably the best and most complete book in any language, and shall avail. ourselves of it and of other sources of information, in this paper, to present a few of the leading events of the Prophet’s life, with a view to a brief illustration of his character and of the means and meaning of his success. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Life Of George Washington Volume 5

The Life Of George Washington Volume 5 – Washington Irving

„The Life Of George Washington“ is a monumental work on the life of one of the most famous American presidents. Originally published in five volumes between 1853 and 1859, it is a treasure chest of information on Washington and the Civil War. This work is presumeably the most intimate and fascinating biography of a man who worked his way from an Army commander to the first President of the United States. This is volume five out of five.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 5

The Life Of George Washington Volume 5

Format: Paperback.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 5.

ISBN: 9783849672317.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Biography of George Washington (from Wikipedia):

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was an American statesman and soldier who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and later presided over the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution. He is popularly considered the driving force behind the nation’s establishment and came to be known as the „father of the country,“ both during his lifetime and to this day. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Life Of George Washington Volume 4

The Life Of George Washington Volume 4 – Washington Irving

„The Life Of George Washington“ is a monumental work on the life of one of the most famous American presidents. Originally published in five volumes between 1853 and 1859, it is a treasure chest of information on Washington and the Civil War. This work is presumeably the most intimate and fascinating biography of a man who worked his way from an Army commander to the first President of the United States. This is volume four out of five.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 4

The Life Of George Washington Volume 4

Format: Paperback.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 4.

ISBN: 9783849673338.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Biography of George Washington (from Wikipedia):

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was an American statesman and soldier who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and later presided over the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution. He is popularly considered the driving force behind the nation’s establishment and came to be known as the „father of the country,“ both during his lifetime and to this day. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Life Of George Washington Volume 3

The Life Of George Washington Volume 3 – Washington Irving

„The Life Of George Washington“ is a monumental work on the life of one of the most famous American presidents. Originally published in five volumes between 1853 and 1859, it is a treasure chest of information on Washington and the Civil War. This work is presumeably the most intimate and fascinating biography of a man who worked his way from an Army commander to the first President of the United States. This is volume three out of five.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 3

The Life Of George Washington Volume 3

Format: Paperback.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 3.

ISBN: 9783849673321.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Biography of George Washington (from Wikipedia):

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was an American statesman and soldier who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and later presided over the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution. He is popularly considered the driving force behind the nation’s establishment and came to be known as the „father of the country,“ both during his lifetime and to this day. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Life Of George Washington Volume 2

The Life Of George Washington Volume 2 – Washington Irving

„The Life Of George Washington“ is a monumental work on the life of one of the most famous American presidents. Originally published in five volumes between 1853 and 1859, it is a treasure chest of information on Washington and the Civil War. This work is presumeably the most intimate and fascinating biography of a man who worked his way from an Army commander to the first President of the United States. This is volume two out of five.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 2

The Life Of George Washington Volume 2

Format: Paperback.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 2.

ISBN: 9783849673093.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Biography of George Washington (from Wikipedia):

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was an American statesman and soldier who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and later presided over the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution. He is popularly considered the driving force behind the nation’s establishment and came to be known as the „father of the country,“ both during his lifetime and to this day. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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A Tour on the Prairies

A Tour on the Prairies – Washington Irving

The productions of Washington Irving are deservedly held in high estimation, not so much, perhaps, for their intrinsic merits as literary compositions, although in this respect they hold no mean position, as for the inimitable tracings of adventurous life which they display through all their gradations and variety, and for the interest they keep alive in the reader, without outraging nature. Several hundred miles beyond the Mississippi extended a vast tract of uninhabited country, where there is neither to be seen the log-house of the white man nor the wigwam of the Indian. It consisted of large grassy plains, interspersed with forests and groves, and watered by the Arkansas, the Grand Canadian, the Red River, and all their tributary streams. Over these fertile and verdant wastes roamed the elk, the buffalo, and the wild horse, in all their native freedom—and these were, in fact, the hunting-grounds of the various inhabitants of the Far West. Thither repaired the Osage, the Creek, the Delaware, and other tribes, that had linked themselves with civilization, and lived within the vicinity of the white settlements; and here resorted also the Pawnees, the Comanches, and a variety of fierce and as yet independent rovers, the nomades of the prairies, or the inhabitants of the skirts of the Rocky Mountains. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Life And Voyages Of Christopher Columbus

The Life And Voyages Of Christopher Columbus – Washington Irving

Irving’s extensive work on Christopher Columbus is one of the most famous biographies in American history. The name of Washington Irving, prefixed to any work, is in itself a sufficient earnest of liberal sentiment and graceful composition. With generous principles and pure intellectual tastes, he unquestionably unites literary talents of no common order. The subject, also, which he has here chosen for the exercise of his powers, is one, if not of any real novelty, at least abounding both in romantic excitement and philosophical interest. It is a subject in many respects, congenial to his own poetical cast of feeling, his imaginative temperament, his amiable and enlightened spirit, and, above all, to his national enthusiasm as a citizen of that continent, of which the discovery has immortalised the fame of his hero. Endowed with such qualifications, and thus inspired by characteristic fondness for his design, it was easy to anticipate the degree of his success in its accomplishment; and it is needless to say, that he has produced a very amusing and elegant book. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon

The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon – Washington Irving

Irving’s most famous work is – without doubt – this book. The Sketch Book appeared in 1819 and 1820 and contained 34 short stories and essays of English manners, written in a half-sentimental style, with a good deal of liveliness and consierable talent. Among the most prominent stories are „Rip Van Winkle“ and „The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.“

The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon

The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon

Format: Paperback.

The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon.

ISBN: 9783849673741.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Biography of Washington Irving (from Wikipedia):

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories „Rip Van Winkle“ (1819) and „The Legend of Sleepy Hollow“ (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith, and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Conquest Of Granada

The Conquest Of Granada – Washington Irving

In 1830 Irving published his “ Chronicles of the Conquest of Granada,“ one of the most delightful of his works, an exact history, for such it is admitted to be by those who have searched most carefully the ancient records of Spain, yet so full of personal incident, so diversified with surprising turns of fortune, and these wrought up with such picturesque effect, that, to use an expression of Pope, a young lady might read it by mistake for a romance.

The Conquest Of Granada

The Conquest Of Granada

Format: Paperback.

The Conquest Of Granada.

ISBN: 9783849674281.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Biography of Washington Irving (from Wikipedia):

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories „Rip Van Winkle“ (1819) and „The Legend of Sleepy Hollow“ (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith, and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. Read more/Mehr lesen...

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), European History (English), Irving, Washington | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Life Of George Washington Volume 1

The Life Of George Washington Volume 1 – Washington Irving

„The Life Of George Washington“ is a monumental work on the life of one of the most famous American presidents. Originally published in five volumes between 1853 and 1859, it is a treasure chest of information on Washington and the Civil War. This work is presumeably the most intimate and fascinating biography of a man who worked his way from an Army commander to the first President of the United States. This is volume one out of five.

The Life Of George Washington, Vol. 1

The Life Of George Washington, Vol. 1

Format: Paperback.

The Life Of George Washington Volume 1.

ISBN: 9783849674731.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Biography of George Washington (from Wikipedia):

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was an American statesman and soldier who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and later presided over the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution. He is popularly considered the driving force behind the nation’s establishment and came to be known as the „father of the country,“ both during his lifetime and to this day. Read more/Mehr lesen...

Veröffentlicht unter Biographies (English), Classics of Fiction (English), Irving, Washington, The Presidents | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar