Washington Irving (1783–1859) was an American author, short story writer, essayist, poet, travel book writer, biographer, and columnist. He is best known for writing the stories "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Early on, he was a contributor to the Morning Chronicle, published Salmagundi, and served as editor of Analetic magazine in Philadelphia and New York. In 1809, he published the comical A History of New York under the name "Dietrich Knickerbocker." Eleven years later, he published a collection of stories entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., which allowed him to become a full-time writer. Other books written by Irving are Bracebridge Hall, Chronicles of the Conquest of Granada, A Tour of the Prairies, and The Life of George Washington, a five-volume title.
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