American author Washington Irving.

Washington Irving

(1783 - 1859)

Born in 1783, the eleventh and last child of a stern Presbyterian father, Washington Irving later recalled, “When I was young, I was led to think that somehow or other everything that was pleasant was wicked.” He became famous after the 1819–20 serial publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, containing, among other writings, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” which are often considered the first American short stories.

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