One of my favorite authors has been Washington Irving. Not only had he done incredible work under his own name, a little known fact is that he once used the pseudonym Dietrich Knickerbocker (for New Yorkers, this last name became a well-known and oft used word!). A Knickerbocker became a term used to refer to a person from New York….and known in baseball as the New York Knickerbockers (Knicks!).
Born just after the American Revolution, he died just before the American Civil War at his beloved home Sunnyside…..and is buried in the real Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York. For me, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was an incredibly spooky and intriguing short story, one that he wrote about places he knew (as he often did) and one that is probably as well-known as his short story Rip Van Winkle. He often called upon his childhood in New York or his travels in Europe to create these wonderful stories; and they remain just as interesting today as then.
I have read that he was the first American to make his living solely as a writer; although he was trained in law, interested in architecture, loved to travel and spent much of his life in Europe. He used all these life experiences in his writing….
I suppose today being October 31st, and thoughts of Sleepy Hollow coming to mind, I remembered Washington Irving and his beloved childhood in the Hudson Valley (a place that is absolutely gorgeous this time of year!) and childhoods spent reading about the headless horseman and nights “watching” (through my fingers across my eyes as I cringed in my chair) the Disney version of Legend of Sleepy Hollow!
Have a safe Halloween,