Washington Irving


Irving's works

"I am always at a loss," said Irving, "to know how much to believe of my own stories." His History of New York, published in 1809 under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, fooled many of the people much of the time.

The "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was published in 1820. If you've only seen the rip-offs of it, you really ought to read the original, available at Project Gutenberg.

Washington Irving in Sunnyside

The entrance to Irving's home Sunnyside, in Tarrytown, New York, boasts this lovely sculpture by Daniel Chester French.

Irving Sunnyside

Above: Bust of Irving with a relief of Boabdil, whose story he tells in Tales of the Alhambra.

Irving Sunnyside

Above: Rip van Winkle, from another of Irving's famous stories.

Irving Sunnyside bust

Above: Bust of Washington Irving. Daniel Chester French did many allegorical figures (the Continents at the Customs House, for example), but he was also phenomenally good at portraits: this one, the Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, and the Hunt Memorial, to name a few.

Sunnyside and Sleepy Hollow are an easy train ride from New York.