Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Did You Know? Rip Van Winkle

All right. I've caught up on my sleep (I think), so let's find out some things we didn't know about the world's all time sleeper, Rip Van Winkle.

Did You Know?
  • Rip Van Winkle was written while Washington Irving was living in Birmingham, England?
  • Although the story is set in the Catskill Mountains, Irving had never been there until after it was written?
  • Irving's inspiration for the story was a noswtalgic converstion with his brother-in-law, Henry Van Wart?
  • Irving was so inspired after the conversation that he pulled an all-nighter, and had the story written in one night?
  • Rip Van Winkle was published in 1819, a year after Irving declared bankruptcy?
  • Washington Irving was friends with Sir Walter Scott?
  • In addition to writing fiction, Irving also wrote biographies of George Washington and Muhammad?
  • Irving served as U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846?
  • Irving served as the executor of John Jacob Astor's estate, and was the first chairman of Astor's library? The library eventually became the New York Public Library.
  • Washington Irving is generally regarded as America's first internationally acclaimed author?
Just for fun, here's a cartoon, Popeye Meets Rip Van Winkle. I guess if Abbott & Costello can meet Dracula, Popeye can meet Rip Van Winkle...


  1. Great post with lots of new facts. I guess he was a starving artist for a while there, too! I can't believe he wrote RVW in one night. Fascinating information and I loved the clip!

    1. I think it's a prerequisite that all authors must spend some time as starving artists! :) This clip was fun, not much out there for Rip Van Winkle, believe it or not.