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The Man behind the “Legend..”.  Named in honour of President George Washington  Born April 3, 1783 in New York (present day Wall Street)  It was the.

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Presentation on theme: "The Man behind the “Legend..”.  Named in honour of President George Washington  Born April 3, 1783 in New York (present day Wall Street)  It was the."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Man behind the “Legend..”

2  Named in honour of President George Washington  Born April 3, 1783 in New York (present day Wall Street)  It was the end of Amer. Rev. war (post-war era)  Parents were Scottish-English emigrants  Eleventh child born to Sarah Sanders & William Irving  Father was a deacon and successful merchant  Irving family was kind and charitable to people in need  Older brothers were William & Peter  Washington Irving was born sickly and suffered for years  He was also mischievous, sneaking out to attend plays  Studied law and became a clerk, but he grew to hate law

3  His social life dominated his days with friends and ladies  He loved to indulge in the arts and partying.  Interests: WRITING, TRAVELING, landscapes, architecture  He will use materials collected from these trips in his stories  Enlisted in the army during the War of 1812  Served as governors’ aid and military secretary  Wrote articles for newspapers edited by his brother, Peter  Also wrote youthful satires (writing that pokes fun) and essays  Lived in Eng. with brothers for 17 years & went into business  Their business was unsuccessful and began writing for income  His desire at this point was to get married and have a family

4  Irving’s fiancé, Matilda Hoffman dies tragically.  Irving did not write for the next 6 years as a result.  For a time he was an editor of a magazine  In 1815 his brother, Peter gets ill. Irving tries to run the family farm, but 2 years later declares bankruptcy.  He was named Minister to Spain (Ambassador) by President Tyler and was active in the field of diplomacy.  He suffered from different illnesses. He had a lung ailment at one time and was unable to walk at another point in his life.

5  Eventually, in 1832 he moved back to America and settled in Tarrytown, NY where he purchased a home he called Sunnyside. It was a Dutch cottage on the banks of the Hudson River.  He lived there with his younger brother, Ebenezer & 5 nieces.  Died on Nov. 28, 1859 on the eve of the Civil War.  He was 76 years old when he passed. This was considered a long life in the 19 th century.  He passed surrounded by friends and relatives in his Sunnyside home.  He is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery at the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

6  Irving was the first American to make a living solely from writing and the first American to gain International success.  His famous stories earned him many honors from the Royal Society, Oxford, Columbia & Harvard.  His most famous work is The Sketch Book, (1819) which includes the stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.”  These two stories have become a huge part of American folklore and contribute to the cultural history of the U.S.  Both stories take place in specific areas of NY State and include actual historical events and experiences.  His works were published using the pseudonyms (pen names) of “Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.” or “Diedrich Knickerbocker.”

7  His works are known for their humor and vivid description of the beautiful American landscape.  Irving is considered a very important 19 th century storyteller.  His stories provide us with what American life was like in the 1600s and early 1800s.  “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is based on German folklore stories, but set in New York.  The story has been told and readapted into various formats: movies, children’s stories, cartoons, etc.  This story is a legend because it takes place during the Rev. War (which really occurred) and the headless horseman is said to be a Hessian soldier from Germany (which were soldiers which fought in war).

8  There are many similarities between Irving’s biography and the things that occur in his stories.  Irving is considered a participant in the Romantic movement in Literature because of his use of the American landscape as a backdrop for his stories.  Romantic movement – a movement in the 19 th century that celebrated nature and individualism in the arts.  Transcendentalism – a philosophical movement in the 19 th century emphasized nature as the principal source for human inspiration on an almost religious level. Stressed a human’s relationship with nature.

9  Irving lived and wrote during a very significant time in Amer.  Irving was one of the first truly American writers.  America experienced a great period of economic, physical and social growth.  New concepts of what it meant to be an American developed  Two political systems and governmental documents flourished: The Declaration of Independence & The Constitution.  The Industrial Revolution transformed America from an agricultural (agrarian) societies with farmers, peasants and skilled laborers to industrialized cities with factories, buildings and railroads.

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