Knickerbocker's History of New York

Knickerbocker's History of New York

Washington Irving


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This nineteenth-century novel by the author of Rip Van Winkle offers a satirical history of New York, from the creation of the world to the fall of New Amsterdam.

Washington Irving’s debut novel, Knickerbocker’s History of New York was an immediate sensation when it was first published in 1809. Posing as the work of a fictional Dutch historian named Dietrich Knickerbocker, it both catapulted Irving’s literary reputation and established the “Father Knickerbocker” character as a popular icon of New York.

Knickerbocker discusses the development of New Netherland, the seventeenth-century Dutch colony, with a special focus on New Amsterdam, the settlement located on present-day Manhattan. The thoroughly tongue-in-cheek chronicle contains “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 [Stuyvesant] the Headstrong.”