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Washington Irving--Transcendental Author

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Dana Dial

on 4 February 2013

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Transcript of Washington Irving--Transcendental Author

Washington Irving By Dana Dial Writings Effect on History and Death Thoughts On His Works Thoughts On Irving Early Life Career Path Towards Success Biography Irving was born April 3, 1783 in New York City. He was the youngest of 11 children. In college, he practiced law school. He barely passed the bar test to become an apprentice lawyer, but he only practiced briefly. He was in the war of 1812, but then went back home. Early in his life, Irving had developed a passion for books. They later inspired him in his life. To a man that read his stories for pleasure, they were magnificent stories. To writers, they were unsophisticated and childish. Edgar Allan Poe especially disliked them. He felt that Irving should be given credit for being a discoverer because the writing was often unsophisticated. "Irving is much over-rated", Poe wrote in 1838, "and a nice distinction might be drawn between his just and his surreptitious and adventitious reputation...". A critic for the New-York Mirror wrote: "No man in the Republic of Letters has been more overrated than Mr. Washington Irving." Irving himself was known as "the father of short stories." To people that read his works, Irving was creative and imaginative. To other writers, he was thought to be childish and unsophisticated. To his family and friends, Irving was thought to be thoughtful, sympathetic and encouraging. Relating to a Transcendentalist, Washington Irving was optimistic. Transcendentalists were usually idealistic, but Irving was not. Irving inspired people to write just for the entertainment of other people. Irving popularized the nickname "Gotham" for New York City, later used in Batman comics and movies. His most lasting contribution to American culture is in the way Americans perceive and celebrate Christmas. In one of his stories, Irving inserted a dream sequence featuring St. Nicholas soaring over treetops in a flying wagon—a creation others would later dress up as Santa Claus. On the night of November 28, 1859 Washington Irving died of a heart attack at the age of 76 Irving was best known for short stories. But not all of his writings were short stories. Irving wrote biographies, essays, folk lore, and more. His most famous work of all time and was "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Best Known For Thank you for listening. Irving started writing when he was 19 years of age. He had taken a bar exam to be a lawyer, and barely passed. He then decided he no longer wanted to become a lawyer, but that he wanted to do something else. He first published his writings in the NEW YORK MORNING CHRONICLE with the help of his brother and a friend. After that he had a "double life" switching from working at his family's hardware shop, and working on his literature. He published more writings, and became better known. When Irving published "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.," a book with a series of short stories, and he became very popular with mainly one story :"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", the most popular of Irving's writings. The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement in a narrow valley called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow was known for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere. There is a Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot away by a stray cannonball during "some nameless battle" of the American Revolutionary War, and who "rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head". "Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart."
-Washington Irving
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