About the Author
Washington Irving, one of the first Americans to achieve international recognition as an author, was born in New York City in 1783. His A History of New York, published in 1809 under the name of Diedrich Knickerbocker, was a satirical history of New York that spanned the years from 1609 to 1664. Under another pseudonym, Geoffrey Crayon, he wrote The Sketch-book, which included essays about English folk customs, essays about the American Indian, and the two American stories for which he is most renowned--"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." Irving served as a member of the U.S. legation in Spain from 1826 to 1829 and as minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846. Following his return to the U.S. in 1846, he began work on a five-volume biography of Washington that was published from 1855-1859. Washington Irving died in 1859 in New York.
Heralded as the greatest artist of the triumvirate of modern illustrators that included Greenaway and Crane, Randolph Caldecott is highly praised for introducing techniques of animation into picture book art and for his humorous, satiric extensions of the text in his illustrations. Caldecott's fame centers on 16 books, often referred to as the "Toy Books," reprinted by Edmund Evans in his innovative printing techniques, featuring mainly traditional nursery rhymes and songs, and published in pairs. They include: The House That Jack Built (1865), The Diverting History of John Gilpin (written by William Cowper) (1878), Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog (written by Oliver Goldsmith) (1979), Babes in the Wood (1879), Sing a Song of Sixpence (1880), The Three Jovial Huntsmen (1880), The Farmer's Boy (1881), The Queen of Hearts (1881), The Milkmaid (1882), Hey Diddle Diddle with Baby Bunting (1882), A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go (1883), and The Fox Jumps over the Parson's Gate (1884). Caldecott generally drew his illustrations in sepia applied with a brush rather than a pen; he included an average of three uncolored illustrations for each colored one. He has received praise for his fluid style, which created a sense of movement across a page and from one page to another; he is also lauded for his insight into human nature and instinctive grasp of what appeals to children. Each year the American Library Association awards a highly coveted medal in his name to the best illustrated book by an American author.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.