New York: G.P. Putnam, 1864. Item #01747
The People's Edition
IRVING, Washington. The Complete Works. [People's Edition]. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1864.
Twenty-six small octavo volumes (6 5/16 x 4 inches; 160 x 102 mm). Engraved frontispieces, head-and-tailpieces.
Bound ca. 1880 in three-quarter plum calf over marbled boards ruled in blind. Smooth spines with two slightly raised bands, elaborately lettered and decorated in gilt. Marbled edges and endpapers. Spines uniformly and attractively sunned. A fine set.
Washington Irving (1783-1859), American author, wit, and man of society. His highly successful burlesque, A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty (1809), supposedly by Diedrich Knickerbocker, has been called “the first great book of comic literature written by an American” (The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature). His best-known book, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1820), contains sketches of English life, essays on American subjects, and American adaptations of German folk-tales (including “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”). It was followed by other popular works, including Bracebridge Hall (1822). Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905) was the American actor who became identified with Rip Van Winkle.