This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1850 Excerpt: ... man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was--a woman. Among the musical disciples who assembled, one evening in each week, to receive his instructions in psalmody, was Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and only child of a substantial Dutch farmer. She was a blooming lass of fresh eighteen; plump as a partridge; ripe and melting and rosy-checked as one of her father's peaches, and universally famed, not merely for her beauty, Cut her vast expectations. She was withal a little of a coquette, as might be perceived even in her dress, which was a mixture of ancient and modern fashions, as most suited to set off her charms. She wore the ornaments of pure yellow gold, which her greatgreat-grandmother had brought over from Saardam; the tempting stomacher of the olden time; and withal a provokingly short petticoat, to display the prettiest foot and ankle in the country round. Ichabod Crane had a soft and foolish heart towards the sex; and it is not to be wondered at, that so tempting a morsel soon found favor in his eyes; more especially after he had visited her in her paternal mansion. Old Baltus Van Tassel was a perfect picture of a thriving, contented, liberal-hearted farmer. He seldom, it is true, sent either his eyes or his thoughts beyond the boundaries of his own farm; but within those every thing was snug, happy, and well-conditioned. He was satisfied with his wealth, but not proud of it; and piqued himself upon the hearty abundance, rather than the style in which he lived. His stronghold was situated on the banks of the Hudson, in one of those green, sheltered, fertile nooks, in which the Dutch farmers are so fond of nestling. A great elm-tree spread its broad branches over it; at the foot of which bubbled up a spring o...
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Though trained for law, Washington Irving (1783-1859) turned to writing. The humorous A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty (1809), written under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, won him wide popularity. In 1815, Irving journeyed to England to manage a branch of the family business. This venture ended in failure, and he was compelled to write to support himself. International fame came with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819-20). In 1826, Irving went to Spain on a diplomatic assignment. His three-year stay there inspired The History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828) and The Alhambra (1832). In 1829, he was assigned to London as secretary of the United States legation, and after extensive traveling, he served as minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846. Then Irving returned to his home in Tarrytown, New York, where he worked and studied until his death.Wayne Franklin, professor of English and director of American Studies at the University of Connecticut, is the author of several books on early American literature and culture, including Discoverers, Explorers, Settlers and The New World of James Fenimore Cooper. An editor of the Norton Anthology of American Literature, he is also founding editor of the American Land and Life series, published by the University of Iowa Press. From the Back Cover:
I stepped upon the land of my forefathers - but felt than I was a stranger in the land. With these words, Washington Irving expresses the dilemma of every American artist in the nineteenth century. The Sketch Book (1820-1) looks simultaneously towards audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, as Irving explores the uneasy relationship of an American writer to English literary traditions. He sketches a series of encounters with the cultural shrines of the parent nation, and in two brilliant experiments with tales transplanted from Europe creates the first classic American short stories, 'Rip Van Winkle' and 'The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow'. Based on Irving's final revision of his most popular work, this new edition includes comprehensive explanatory notes of The Sketch-Book's sources for the modern reader. In her introduction, Susan Manning suggests that the author forged a new idiom, the 'Literary Picturesque', to accommodate and turn to advantage his dilemma of dual literary allegiances.
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