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.
Comments on The Broadview Anthology of American Literature
“The expansion, diversification, and revitalization of the texts and terms of American literary history in recent years is made marvelously accessible in the … new Broadview Anthology of American Literature.” — Hester Blum, Penn State University
“The Broadview Anthology of American Literature is, quite simply, a breakthrough. … Meticulously researched and expertly assembled, this anthology should be the new gold standard for scholars and teachers alike.” — Michael D’Alessandro, Duke University
“So much thought has been put into every aspect of the Broadview Anthology of American Literature, from the selection of texts to their organization to their presentation on the page; it will be a gift to classrooms for years to come.” — Lara Langer Cohen, Swarthmore College
“The multiplicity of early American locations, languages, and genres is here on wondrous display.” — Jordan Alexander Stein, Fordham University
“Above all, this is a volume for the 21st century. … Its capaciousness and ample resource materials make for a text that is always evolving and meeting its readers in new ways.” — Russ Castronovo, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“a rich collection that reflects the diversity of American literatures…. [and] that never forgets its most important audience: students. There is a wealth of material here that will help them imagine and reimagine what American literature could be.” — Michael C. Cohen, UCLA
“The Broadview Anthology of American Literature is an instructor’s dream for introducing students to the diversity and complexity of American literature.” — Venetria K. Patton, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
“I am eager to teach with this anthology! It aligns with cutting-edge research through its selections, its introductions, and explanatory notes, and the texts are supplemented with primary documents that encourage teachers and students to think critically and dynamically.” — Koritha Mitchell, The Ohio State University