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Washington Irving

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 - November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. A lawyer, he served as American ambassador to Britain and later to Spain. He spoke Spanish. He was a prolific essayist who wrote widely respected biographies of George Washington and Muhammad as well as other historical figures. He also wrote books on 15th Century Spain dealing with subjects such as Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra.

Irving traveled on the Western frontier in the 1830s and was one of the few 19th figures to speak out against the mishandling of relations with the Native American tribes by Europeans[?].

He is said to have mentored authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe.

In 1819 -1820 he published The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon[?] that included his best known stories:

Rip Van Winkle is a man who sleeps for a hundred years and wakes in a world he cannot recognize. The name "Rip van Winkle" has gone into the language to describe people who awake and cannot recognize their surroundings.

Washington Irving's grave, in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery of Sleepy Hollow, New York. It's the one with the flag in front of it:

External links:

e-texts of some of Washington Irving's works:

read Washington Irving at Project Gutenberg (http://promo.net/cgi-promo/pg/t9.cgi)

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