|12-14-2008, 03:49 PM||#1|
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Irving, Washington: Old Christmas, v.1, 14 Dec 2008
Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He was best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.
One of Irving's most lasting contributions to American culture is in the way Americans perceive and celebrate Christmas. In his 1812 revisions to A History of New York, Irving inserted a dream sequence featuring St. Nicholas soaring over treetops in a flying wagon—a creation others would later dress up as Santa Claus [see Book II Chapter V here]. Later, in his five Christmas stories in The Sketch Book [this work], Irving portrayed an idealized celebration of old-fashioned Christmas customs at a quaint English manor, which directly contributed to the revival and reinterpretation of the Christmas holiday in the United States. Charles Dickens later credited Irving as a strong influence on his own Christmas writings, including the classic A Christmas Carol.
Last edited by vivaldirules; 12-14-2008 at 04:32 PM.
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