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1783. April 3, Washington Irving was born in the city of New York. 1800. Began to study law. 1802.
Contributions to The Morning Chronicle, signed Jonathan Old
1804. Went to Europe.
Returned to New York; was admitted to the bar.
1807. Salmagundi, a humorous magazine; joint production of Washington Irving, James K. Paulding, and William Irving.
1809. Matilda Hoffman, his betrothed, died. Her early death gave a tinge of seriousness to his whole life.
1809. History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker. Sir Walter Scott was greatly delighted with this work.
1810. Admitted as a partner with two of his brothers in the commercial business which they carried on in New York and Liverpool.
1813-14. Edited Analectic Magazine, published in Philadelphia. 1815. Second visit to Europe.
1817. Thomas Campbell, the poet, gave Irving a letter of introduction to Scott at Abbotsford, who said of Irving, "He is one of the best and pleasantest acquaintances I have made this many a day."
1818. Failure in business. Bankruptcy.
1819-20. The Sketch-Book was published in numbers in New York; collected and published in two volumes in London by John Murray, owing to the favorable representations of Walter Scott.
1822. Bracebridge Hall. The characters in the Christmas Sketches reappear in this book. Thomas Moore, the poet, suggested the idea to Irving.
1824. Tales of a Traveller; sold for 1500 guineas to Murray, without his having seen the manuscript.
1828. The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. While writing this book in Madrid, he met Mr. Longfellow, who had just been ap pointed professor of modern languages in Bowdoin College, and was studying in Europe to prepare himself for the work.
1829. Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada.
1830. The Royal Society of Literature bestowed upon him one of the two fifty-guinea gold medals, awarded annually.
1831. The University of Oxford conferred on him the degree of LL. D. Voyages of the Companions of Columbus.
1832. Returned to New York after seventeen years' absence. Public dinner in New York to "our illustrious guest, thrice welcome to his native land.”
1832. The Alhambra. Irving lived in the old Moorish palace between two and three months "in a kind of Oriental dream," he says. Many of his letters written at the time are dated, "Alhambra, Granada."
1834. Travelled in the West, in company with commissioners appointed by the United States Government to treat with the Indians. 1835. A Tour on the Prairies. Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey
1835. Legends of the Conquest of Spain (Crayon Miscellany). Included in Spanish Papers, edited by Pierre M. Irving, after the author's death. 1835. Purchased a tract of land on the Hudson, on which was a small Dutch cottage, the Van Tassel house of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, afterwards known as Wolfert's Roost, and rechristened Sunnyside. The railroad station near it is now called Irvington, some twenty-five miles from New York.
1836. Astoria: an account of John Jacob Astor's settlement on the Columbia River, scenes beyond the Rocky Mountains, the-fur trade, etc.
1837. The Adventures of Captain Bonneville.
1842-46. Minister to Spain. Notified of his appointment by Daniel Webster.
1849. Oliver Goldsmith: A Biography.
Mahomet and his Successors.
The Life of George Washington (five volumes). 1859. November 28, Irving died at Sunnyside.
IRVING ONE OF THE CHIEF FOUNDERS OF AMERICAN LITERATURE.
On the 19th of April, 1783, just eight years after the battle of Lexington, the commanding general of the American forces sent the joyful news of peace to his long-suffering army. On the third day of the same month, in the city of New York, the youngest of the eleven children of William and Sarah Irving was born. To the child was given the Christian name of Washington.
Before the time of Irving's first literary efforts the scholarly men of America, that is of the American colonies, were too busy with hard labor in subduing nature, resisting the rigorous acts of the English Parliament, and laying the foundations and rearing the walls of the new temple of liberty, to devote themselves in any special degree to literary culture. Born with the new Republic, and through the whole of his life an ardent lover of his country, it seems no stretch of the imagination to conceive that Irving was inspired from the beginning with the high resolve to add something to its glory, as well as to make for himself a name of renown.
The following brief outline will show that Irving, whom Thackeray styles "the first ambassador sent by the New World of Letters to the Old," preceded the authors whose works make it possible to use with certainty and pride the words, "American Literature": William Cullen Bryant's Thanatopsis was published in the North American Review in 1816; but in 1831 he was unknown in England, and solicited Irving to use his influence to have a volume of his poems published in London. Richard Henry Dana was four years younger than Irving. He was the editor of the North American Review; his most celebrated poem, The Buccaneer, was published in 1827. James Fenimore Cooper was six years younger than Irving, and his first novels appeared in 1821. Longfellow and Hawthorne were in college when Irving was famous. Whittier's best poems have been written since Irving's death. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born the year after Irving began to write for The Morning
SOME QUESTIONS AND TOPICS SUITABLE FOR A
WHEN and where was Irving born? Fix the date by an important historical event.
Give some account of his life in Europe.
What marked honors did he receive in England?
When was his fame as an author well-established, both at home and abroad?
What distinguished British authors were his friends?
Who suggested the idea of Bracebridge Hall?
Did Irving ever do any work besides book-making?
Give the chief events in American history during the period of Irving's life; in English and French history.
Under what fictitious names did he write?
What was the name of his home? where was it?
Is there any appropriateness in the name, Geoffrey Crayon, as author of The Sketch-Book? Explain.
What idea of Irving as a man would be derived from reading his works?
Into what classes may we divide the sketches? Descriptive? humorous? pathetic? narrative? didactic? other?
Where is the scene of each sketch laid?
Name the chief characters in the sketches, connecting with each some appropriate qualifying word or phrase.
Which is your favorite sketch? Why?
Write briefly an outline of the story of The Widow and Her Son.
Quote from the sketches, and state what there is that is striking in the passages quoted.
Name very humorous and very pathetic passages in the sketches.
"He loved his daughter better even than his pipe." Quoted from what? Is it humorous or matter of fact? Why?
Define the following words: cloisters, monastic, key-stones, effigies, obliterated, edifice, parsimony.
What is a sentence?
Of what parts does every sentence consist?
Analyze the last sentence in The Widow and Her Son.