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Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle

The Romantic Era (1798-1832)
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle
Grimm's Fairy Tales

Washington Irving (1783 - 18590


Mr. Irving, born in New York City on April 3, 1789, emerges as the youngest of eleven children. Early on in his life, Irving develops a passion for books. As a short story writer, American author, and poet, Irving appears as the "father of the American short stores." In 1809 Matilda Hoffmanm, Irving's finance, dies at the age of seventeen. Following her death, Irving becomes the leading figure in the comic history in the Knickerbocker Group. Continuing on with his success he becomes the first American author to achieve International fame for his work. After writing for several years, in 1842-45 Irving becomes a U.S. Ambassador in Spain due to the fact that William Prescott decides to take the topic Irving plans to write about. Irving spends the last years of his life in Tarrytown. In Tarrytown New York, Irving publishes his major works in 21 volumes. On November 28th, 1859 Irving dies in Tarrytown.


His best known work establishes itself as 'Rip Van Winkle' (someone who remains oblivious to social change), a story about a simple, good-natured fellow, of the name Rip Van Winkle who wanders off with his dog Wolf into the Catskill Mountains for some peace and quiet only to discover a group of strange characters playing ninepins and drinking a strange brew. Despite the warnings not to swig the drink, Rip sneaks a taste and falls into a deep sleep for twenty years. Upon waking, Rip discovers Wolf disappears and thinks someone's pulling a prank on him because he finds a rusted out weapon at his side instead of his own rifle. Later, he returns to his village only to find that nothing seems the same. He then runs into trouble with the villagers and just wants his daughter so he can live peacefully. Without the trusty ancient inhabitant of the village, Peter Vanderdonk speaks to the villagers and gives them permission to let Rip and his daughter return home and live happily ever after.