Washington Irving

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories “Rip Van Winkle” (1819) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

He made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Old style.

Irving, along with James Fenimore Cooper, was among the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and Irving encouraged American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. Irving was also admired by some European writers, including Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Francis Jeffrey, and Charles Dickens.

The Abencerrage

On the summit of a craggy hill, a spur of the mountains of Ronda, stands the castle of Allora, now a mere ruin, infested by bats and owlets, but in old times one of the strong border holds of the Christians, to keep watch upon the frontiers of the warlike kingdom of Granada, and to hold the Moors in check.

The Count van Horn by Washington Irving

During the minority of Louis XV., while the Duke of Orleans was Regent of France, a young Flemish nobleman, the Count Antoine Joseph Van Horn, made his sudden appearance in Paris, and by his character, conduct, ...

Spanish Romance

I have already given you a legend or two drawn from ancient Spanish sources, and may occasionally give you a few more. I love these old Spanish themes, especially when they have a dash of the Morisco in them, ...

The Knight of Malta

In the course of a tour which I made in Sicily, in the days of my juvenility, I passed some little time at the ancient city of Catania, at the foot of Mount tna. Here I became acquainted with the Chevalier L----, an old Knight of Malta. It was not many years after the time that Napoleon had dislodged the knights from their island, and he still wore the insignia of his order.

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,

The Devil and Tom Walker

A few miles from Boston, in Massachusetts, there is a deep inlet winding several miles into the interior of the country from Charles Bay, and terminating in a thickly wooded swamp or morass. On one side of this inlet is a beautiful dark grove; on the opposite side the land rises abruptly from the water's edge into a high ridge,

Little Britain

In the centre of the great city of London lies a small neighborhood, consisting of a cluster of narrow streets and courts, of very venerable and debilitated houses, which goes by the name of Little Britain. Christ Church School and St. Bartholomew's Hospital bound it on the west; Smithfield and Long Lane on the north;

The Legend of the Engulphed Convent

At the dark and melancholy period when Don Roderick the Goth and his chivalry were overthrown on the banks of the Guadalete, and all Spain was overrun by the Moors, great was the devastation of churches and convents throughout that pious kingdom. The miraculous fate of one of those holy piles is thus recorded in one of the authentic legends of those days.