Washington Irving, The Quintessential New York Writer

by Leonora Stein

"I thank God I was born on the banks of the Hudson!" wrote the "Father of the American Story" late in life. Never had a writer been so affected by a setting as Washington Irving was by the Hudson Valley of New York State. The old Dutch country pays homage to Irving. From the Rip Van Winkle Bridge at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains to the town of Irvington south of Sleepy Hollow, reminders of his fables permeate the countryside. Mountains, lakes, and rivers were his "allies," the Catskills, his muse. In the early 1800s a trip up the Hudson River cost about as much as...

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