A History of New York (Royal Collector's Edition) (Case Laminate Hardcover with Jacket) (Annotated)
Published by: Engage Books
A History of New York is a satire on self-important local history and contemporary politics. Irving created a fictional persona, Diedrich Knickerbocker, as the author of the book. Unsuspecting readers followed the story of Knickerbocker and his manuscript with interest, and some New York city officials were concerned enough about the missing historian to offer a reward for his safe return.
To promote the book, Irving started a hoax by contacting various newspapers in New York City and claiming that a well-known Dutch historian, Diedrich Knickerbocker, had disappeared. Irving informed people that if Mr. Knickerbocker remained absent he would publish a manuscript that the man had left behind. Many people at the time believed the story and when Irving finally revealed it was all made up he gained enough local fame to help his book become an instant success, practically launching his literary career.
This case laminate collector's edition includes a Victorian-inspired dust jacket.
Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 - November 28, 1859) was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "Rip Van Winkle" (1819) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. He made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. After moving to England for the family business in 1815, he achieved international fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. in 1819-20. He continued to publish regularly - and almost always successfully - throughout his life, and just eight months before his death (at age 76, in Tarrytown, New York), completed a five-volume biography of George Washington. Irving, along with James Fenimore Cooper, was among the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and Irving encouraged American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. Irving was also admired by some European writers, including Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Francis Jeffrey, and Charles Dickens. As America's first genuine internationally best-selling author, Irving advocated for writing as a legitimate profession, and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement.