Clan Irwin author creates American legend

With Halloween approaching I thought we would take a look at a Clan Irwin author that not only created a legend, but turned into one.  I have noticed in my research that a good many of the Irwin Clan have a great imagination and the gift of gab, as many of us turn to the written word, (including Jack Irwin of Lockhaven , however more about his books later.)

Right now I want to remind you of Washington Irving.

Photo of Washington Irving

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author,  and historian of the early 19th century. He was best known for his short stories “The Legend of Sleppy Hollow” and  “Rip Van Winkle.” His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith,Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus,and the Moors. Irving also served as the  U.S. minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

Ichabod pursued by the Headless Horseman By F. O. Darby 1849

He made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. After moving to England for the family business in 1815, he achieved international fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. in 1819. He continued to publish regularly—and almost always successfully—throughout his life, and completed a five-volume biography of George Washington just eight months before his death, at age 76, in Tarrytown, New York.

Irving,  was among the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and Irving encouraged American authors such asNathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Mellville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,and Edgar Allan Poe. Irving was also admired by some European writers, including Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron,  and Charles Dickens. As America’s first genuine internationally best-selling author, Irving advocated for writing as a legitimate profession, and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from  copyright infringement. The city of  Irving , Texas gives credit to Washington Irving for the town’s name. It is believed by local historians that Irving co-founders Otis Brown and J.O. Schulze decided in 1902 to name the city after the favorite author of Otis Brown’s wife, Netta Barcus Brown. Schulze, a graduate engineer from the University of Iowa and member of the Washington Irving Literary Society, also was partial to the name Irving. The Irving City Council officially adopted author Washington Irving as the city’s namesake in 1998.

Irving is buried in Sleepy Hollow, New York

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