New York: G.P. Putnam, 1864. Twenty-six small octavo volumes (6 5/16 x 4 inches; 160 x 102 mm). 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. Engraved frontispieces, head-and-tailpieces. 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), written under the pseudonym 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 two of the most famous short stories in American literature: Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Irving was a prolific author, writing popular and esteemed biographies of the Prophet Mohammed, Christopher Columbus, and George Washington, as well as travel narratives and other works. (Item #3669)