Washington Irving: Selected Writings
  • Publication Date: July 19, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554816378 / 1554816378
  • 144 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Washington Irving: Selected Writings

  • Publication Date: July 19, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554816378 / 1554816378
  • 144 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Banner reading Teaching the survey? Learn more about The Broadview Anthology of American Literature, with covers of the available volumes

Two of Washington Irving’s works of short fiction from his 1819-20 work, The Sketch Book—Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow—are among the most enduringly popular of American classics. In his own day, Irving’s works were widely read in Britain as well as in America; the English novelist William Makepiece Thackeray described him as “the first ambassador whom the New World of Letters sent to the Old.” This edition takes notice of transatlantic literary history with an appendix of reviews from American and British newspapers, and by printing in facing page format the American and British versions of “Traits of Indian Character” (which differed from each other in a variety of interesting ways). Also included are an excerpt from Irving’s first major work, A History of New York; excerpts from a key source that Irving drew on for “Rip Van Winkle”; and a selection of illustrations showing some of the ways in which this character was imagined in nineteenth-century America. With a concise but wide-ranging introduction and extensive explanatory notes, this edition is ideally suited for course use.

This volume is one of a number of editions that have been drawn from the pages of the acclaimed Broadview Anthology of American Literature. The series is designed to make selections from the anthology available in a format convenient for use in a wide variety of contexts; each edition features an introduction and exaplanatory footnotes, and is designed to meet the needs of today’s students.


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from A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker

  • Book 1, Chapter 5

from The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

  • The Wife
  • Rip Van Winkle
  • English Writers on America
  • Traits of Indian Character
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

In Context

  • Responses to The Sketch Book in American and British Newspapers
  • Irving’s German Source for “Rip Van Winkle”
  • Images of Rip Van Winkle