A writer of great urbanity and poise, Washington Irving was America's first internationally acclaimed man of letters. Here in one volume are the writings that established his reputation and earned him the admiration of Hawthorne, Poe, Coleridge, Byron, Scott, and Dickens. Written in the character of an elderly gentleman of the old school, "Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent." is a series of comic reports on the theater, theater-goers, fashions, balls, courtships, duels, and marriages of his contemporary New York. "Salmagundi" continues this roguish style of satire and burlesque, and its freshness, energy, and accomplishment took the Anglo-American literary scene by storm. "A History of New York," a wild and hilarious spoof combining real New York history with political satire, is presented here in its original, unexpurgated version. "The Sketch Book" is a brilliant, captivating story collection that draws on vanishing folkways, depictions of Hudson Valley life, and fable; it contains Irving's best-loved stories, "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."