The Life of George Washington, 2 Vols.
Washington Irving (4/3/1783–11/28/1859) was an American short-story writer, essayist, biographer, historian and diplomat. He’s best known for his short stories “Rip Van Winkle” (1819) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820), both of which appear in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of Oliver Goldsmith, Muhammad and George Washington, as well as several histories of 15th-century Spain that deal with subjects such as Alhambra, Christopher Columbus and the Moors. He served as American ambassador to Spain in the 1840s. Born and raised in Manhattan to a merchant family, he made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. He temporarily moved to England for the family business in 1815 where he achieved fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., serialized from 1819–20. He published regularly throughout his life, completing a five-volume biography of George Washington just eight months before his death at age 76 in Tarrytown, NY.