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Sanctified LandscapeWriters, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820-1909$
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David Schuyler

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450808

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450808.001.0001

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The Writers’ River

The Writers’ River

Washington Irving and N. P. Willis

(p.47) 3 The Writers’ River
Sanctified Landscape

David Schuyler

Cornell University Press

This chapter details the life and work of Washington Irving and N. P. Willis, the writers most closely identified with the Hudson River in the nineteenth century. Each lived in a house that overlooked the river and has become indelibly identified with its history. Each wrote extensively about creating a dwelling and landscape that domesticated the Hudson. The careers and dwellings of both became inseparable from the public perception of the river. Irving's A Book of the Hudson, Collected from the Various Works of Diedrich Knickerbocker attributed great importance to his childhood landscape in the development of his character and personality. The youthful Irving anthropomorphized the river, ascribing to it a soul and other human qualities, and found in it inspiration that fired his fertile imagination. Willis was one of the most prolific and successful authors of his time. In 1831, he copublished the New-York Mirror with George P. Morris, an influential journal that promoted American art and literature. This was the beginning of a long partnership that culminated in the establishment of the Home Journal, one of the most successful magazines of the antebellum years.

Keywords:   Washington Irving, N. P. Willis, Nathaniel Parker Willis, Hudson River, Hudson Valley, George P. Morris, Home Journal, A Book of the Hudson

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