Washington Irving Birth:
Washington Irving was born on April 3, 1783 in New York City, New York. His father, William, was a merchant, and his mother, Sarah Sanders, was the daughter of an English clergyman. The American Revolution was just ending. His parents were patriotic, and his mother said upon this birth of her 11th child, "Washington's work is ended and the child shall be named after him."
According to Mary Weatherspoon Bowden, "Irving maintained close ties with his family his entire life."
Washington Irving Education:
Washington Irving read a great deal as a boy, including: "Robinson Crusoe," "Sinbad the Sailor," and "The World Displayed. As far as formal education went, Irving attended elementary school until he was 16, without distinction. He read law, and he passed the bar in 1807.
Washington Irving Death:
Irving was buried in Sleepy Hallow Cemetery.
Washington Irving Marriage:
In response to an inquiry about why he had never married, Irving wrote to Mrs. Forster, saying: "For years I could not talk on the subject of this hopeless regret; I could not even mention her name; but her image was continually before me, and I dreamt of her incessantly."
Washington Irving Lines from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow":
"In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town."
Washington Irving Lines from "Rip Van Winkle":
"There was one species of despotism under which he had long groaned, and that was petticoat government."
Washington Irving Lines from "Westminster Abbey":
"Man passes away; his names perishes from record and recollection; his history is as a tale that is told, and his very monument becomes a ruin."
Washington Irving Lines from "The Sketch Book":
"No sooner does he hear any of this brothers mention reform or retrenchment, than up he jumps."
- "John Bull"
Washington Irving Contributions:
"He made short fiction popular; stripped the prose tale of its didactic elements and made it a literary form solely for entertainment; added richness of atmosphere and unity of tone; added definite locality and actual American scenery and people; brought a peculiar nicety of execution and patient workmanship; added humor and lightness of touch; was original; created characters who are always definite individuals; and endowed the short story with a style that is finished and beautiful."
Besides Irving's famous collection of stories in "The Sketch Book" (1819), Washington Irving's other works include: "Salmagundi" (1808), "History of New York" (1809), "Bracebridge Hall" (1822), "Tales of a Traveller" (1824), "The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus" (1828), "The Conquest of Granada" (1829), "Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus" (1831), "The Alhambra" (1832), "The Crayon Miscellany" (1835), "Astoria" (1836), "The Rocky Mountains" (1837), "Biography of Margaret Miller Davidson" (1841), "Goldsmith, Mahomet" (1850), "Mahomet's Successors" (1850), "Wolfert's Roost" (1855), and "Life of Washington" (1855).
Irving wrote more than just short stories. His works included essays, poetry, travel writing, and biography; and for his works, he achieved international recognition and acclaim.