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Washington Irving. Irving as Early Romanticist. descriptions of Nature’s beauty his utilization of gothic imagery Gothic literature --poetry, short stories, or novels designed to thrill readers by providing mystery, villainy, murder, and the supernatural

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Irving as early romanticist
Irving as Early Romanticist

  • descriptions of Nature’s beauty

  • his utilization of gothic imagery

    • Gothic literature--poetry, short stories, or novels designed to thrill readers by providing mystery, villainy, murder, and the supernatural

  • belief that man was inherently good and would act nobly without incentive to do so


A writer of firsts
A Writer of Firsts

  • first belletrist in American literature

    • belleslettres—”literature regarded as a fine art, esp. as having a purely aesthetic function”; Irving wrote for pleasure at a time when writing was pragmatic

  • first American literary humorist

  • first to write history and biography as entertainment

  • introduced nonfiction prose as a literary genre


Hudson river school
Hudson River School

  • Themes in the art:

    • Discovery

    • Exploration

    • Settlement

    • Pastoral America


Thomas cole landscape 1825
Thomas Cole—Landscape, 1825


John frederick kensett connecticut shoreline in autumn
John Frederick Kensett—Connecticut Shoreline in Autumn


Albert bierstadt sierra nevada mountains
Albert Bierstadt—Sierra Nevada Mountains


Asher durand kindred spirits
Asher Durand—Kindred Spirits


Rip van winkle themes
Rip van Winkle Themes

  • Loss/discovery of identity

  • challenge to American values and work ethic

  • Anti-republicanism--George III vs. George Washington


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