Sage, storyteller, and wit, Washington Irving created such staples of American fiction as the stories "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He earned his preeminence in early American literature with the masterpieces in miniature collected here: dozens of stories, travel essays, biographical discourses, and literary musings. "His influence on American writers is unquestioned," wrote Edgar Allan Poe, and his stories have proved as enduring as the Catskill Mountains the author immortalized.
"Exceptional talent....I am one of his most ardent admirers. I admired Mr. Irving's work so much, in fact, that I gave it the ultimate praise; I 'borrowed it.'"--Edgar Allan Poe