Justin Lewis
The Transatlantic Appeal of Washington Irving’s Sketchbook. The Conference of the Tennessee Philological Association. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Sept. 23, 2006.
Publication year: 2006

 

Washington Irving’s Sketch Book differed markedly from his earlier compositions Salmagundi and Knickerbocker’s History of New York in that it utilized the disappearing English aristocracy as the primary subject for well over sixty percent of the work. Through an analysis of American literary scholarship produced during the early 19th century soon after the publication of Washington Irving’s Sketch Book and through an investigation of the text itself, this paper reveals the ambivalence expressed toward Irving’s work by postcolonial American literary critics and their subsequent concern over the rise of American literary cultural enterprise. In addition, this paper reflects the dual Federalist-Jeffersonian taste of American literary consumers in the newly emancipated republic by analyzing the characteristically English sketches in the Sketch Book.