Washington Irving: KNICKERBOCKER'S HISTORY OF NEW YORK
From the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty
"Knickerbocker's History of New York, From the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty" is a work of history, disguised as satire, which was published in 1809 by the American writer Washington Irving under the pseudonym Dietrich Knickerbocker. The full title of the work is "A history of New York, from the beginning of the world to the end of the Dutch dynasty. Containing, among many surprising and curious matters, the unutterable ponderings of Walter the Doubter, the disastrous projects of William the Testy, and the chivalric achievements of Peter the Headstrong, the three Dutch governors of New Amsterdam: being the only authentic history of the times that ever hath been published." Irving draws an unflattering image of the settlers of the colony New Nederland and the Dutch are drawn as lazy pipe smokers of little minds. The work is considered a satire on the political leadership of the United States.
Washington Irving (1783-1859) was an American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington and Oliver Goldsmith, and several histories of 15th-century Spain, dealing with subjects such as the Moors and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.