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Washington Irving-author, ambassador, Manhattanite, and international celebrity-has largely slipped from America’s memory, and yet, his creations are still very well known. With a historian’s eye for scope and significance, Andrew Burstein returns Irving to the context of his native nineteenth century where he was a major celebrity-both a colorful comic genius and the first name in our national literature. Though he gave his young nation such enduring tales as “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” he was far more than one of our nation’s most outsized literary talents. Irving was an American original and a citizen of the world.

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