The land of literature is a fairy land to those who view it at a distance but like all other landscapes the charm fades on a nearer approach and the thorns and briars become visible.
Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "Rip Van Winkle" (1819) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.
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