Washington Irving Biography | Author of Rip Van Winkle

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Washington Irving was born in New York City on April 3, 1783, the year the American Revolution formally ended. Irving's parents named the youngest of their eleven children "Washington" after a prominent military figure from the war, General George Washington. Irving's family was wealthy, his father a successful merchant, so after a relatively lackluster performance as a student and as a law apprentice, Irving was able to devote himself to a youth of reading and writing and wandering without worrying about having to earn a living.

When he was nineteen and still a law clerk, Irving published his first pieces of writing, a series of satirical letters to the Morning Chronicle, a newspaper owned by one of his brothers. These letters, published under the pen name "Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent.," became very popular. Irving also used a pseudonym for his first book, Salmagundi: or, The Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff...

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This section contains 466 words
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Rip Van Winkle from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.