Washington Irving by Charles Dudley Warner


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Washington Irving, by Charles Dudley Warner

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: Washington Irving

Author: Charles Dudley Warner

Release Date: October 10, 2004 [EBook #3101]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WASHINGTON IRVING ***




Produced by David Widger





WASHINGTON IRVING

By Charles Dudley Warner

1891



EDITOR'S NOTE

WASHINGTON IRVING, the first biography published in the American Men of
Letters Series, came out in December, 1881. It was an expansion of a
biographical and critical sketch prefixed to the first volume of a new
edition of Irving's works which began to appear in 1880. It was entitled
the Geoffrey Crayon edition, and was in twenty-seven volumes, which were
brought out, in most cases, in successive months. The first volume
appeared in April. The essay was subsequently published during the same
year in a volume entitled "Studies of Irving," which contained also
Bryant's oration and George P. Putnam's personal reminiscences.

"The Work of Washington Irving" was published early in August, 1893.
Originally it was delivered as a lecture to the Brooklyn Institute of
Arts and Sciences on April 3, 1893, the one hundred and tenth anniversary
of Irving's birth.

T. R. L.




WASHINGTON IRVING


I

PRELIMINARY

It is over twenty years since the death of Washington Irving removed that
personal presence which is always a powerful, and sometimes the sole,
stimulus to the sale of an author's books, and which strongly affects the
contemporary judgment of their merits. It is nearly a century since his
birth, which was almost coeval with that of the Republic, for it took
place the year the British troops evacuated the city of New York, and
only a few months before General Washington marched in at the head of the
Continental army and took possession of the metropolis. For fifty years
Irving charmed and instructed the American people, and was the author who
held, on the whole, the first place in their affections. As he was the
first to lift American literature into the popular respect of Europe,
so for a long time he was the chief representative of the American name
in the world of letters. During this period probably no citizen of the
Republic, except the Father of his Country, had so wide a reputation as
his namesake, Washington Irving.

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