A History of New York by Washington Irving
(Penguin Classics)

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Synopsis



For the bicentennial of its original publication-the first full-length book from the father of the American short story

In 1809, New Yorkers were buzzing about a series of classified ads concerning the whereabouts of Dutch historian Diedrich Knickerbocker. They were unaware that Washington Irving had invented the man entirely and placed the ads himself. Knickerbocker's purported manuscript, A History of New York, was Irving's own. Told from Knickerbocker's point of view, A History of New York is a chronicle of New York's fifty years under Dutch rule in the 1600s that plays fast and loose with the facts, to uproarious effect. Irving's good-humored spoofing had staying power, and his satire provided the city with its first self-portrait. A History of New York propelled Irving to the heights of literary stardom and even made a little history of its own: New Yorkers are called Knickerbockers to this day.


 

About Washington Irving

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One of the first American writers to gain acclaim in Europe, Washington Irving was also an essayist, a biographer, an historian, and a diplomat. He is best known for having written the short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” both of which appeared in the collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Though he is best known for his short stories, Irving’s written works include social and political commentary for the literary magazine Salmagundi, which he helped found, as well as biographies of a number of historical figures including George Washington and the prophet Muhammad. Irving died in 1859 at the age of 76.
 
Published December 30, 2008 by Penguin Classic. 404 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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