Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 286
A History of New York, Irving's 1809 novel in which Dutchman Diedrich Knickerbocker recounts the settling of New York by the Dutch, in a comic and highly inaccurate manner.
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The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, is comprised of 32 short stories, many of which deal with England. The collection includes two of Irving's most celebrated works: "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
Moby Dick, Herman Melville's 1851 epic of the seafaring Captain Ahab's quest to conquer the great white whale, Moby Dick. So single-minded is Ahab's goal that he fails to realize that he is being ruined by greed and deceit.
The Pardoner's Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer's tale that explores "the curse of avarice and cupidity." Three bandits attempt to become wealthy through deceitful means, but each of them attempts to usurp the others' gold. In the final analysis, all three are destroyed by their own greed. This story is the basis for the movie, Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
"Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, first published in 1835. An allegorical tale of a pious Puritan New England man who encounters his fellow townspeople engaged in the black mass. Hawthorne was a contemporary of Irving's, and both writers were concerned with creating an American literature that featured the tenets of New England Puritanism.
"The Devil and Daniel Webster" a short story by Steven Vincent Benet first published in 1937. A New England folktale that won an O. Henry Memorial Award, the story concerns a poor farmer who strikes a deal with the devil, who appears as a lawyer. In an attempt to back out of the deal after obtaining prosperity, the farmer hires Daniel Webster to defend him in a court trial presided over by Nathaniel Hawthorne.