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68 Washington Irving 1783-1859
Bracebridge Hall
Manuscript, 3 volumes, [1821-1822]
America's first man of letters, Irving established his reputation with The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1810-20) which contained both "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." Its popularity made him "the most fashionable fellow in London" with Scott and Moore as friends and Coleridge and Byron as admirers. He next published Bracebridge Hall, his most complex work, which solidified his position as an eminent writer of the time. The work revolves around the inhabitants of an English country house and the stories they tell as evening diversions. The manuscript, which contains thirteen complete and fifteen incomplete tales of the book's fifty-one, is of particular interest in light of the variant readings found in the English and American editions. Bracebridge Hall continued to be popular after its publication, especially among devotees of gift-books and literary annuals who were charmed by the sentimental sketches of English life.
Gift of Cortlandt Irving

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