Manuscript page from his Columbus biography
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Washington Irving Manuscript Page from his Columbus Biography
IRVING, WASHINGTON. (1783-1859). American author; best known for his stories Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. AMs. Unsigned. 1p. 8vo. N.p. N.d.
Chapter 41, Voyage of Diego Mendez to Hispaniola – Deliverance of Columbus from the Island of Jamaica. (1504) It is proper here to give some account of the mission of Diego Mendez and Bartholomew Fiesco.
and of the circumstances which prevented the latter from returning When they had taken leave of the Adelantado east end of the island of Jamaica, they continued all day in a direct course; there was no wind, the sky was without a cloud, and the sea was perfectly calm like a mirror reflecting the burning rays of the sun. The Indians who paddled the canoes would often leap into the water to cool their glowing bodies and refresh themselves from their toil. At the going down of the sun they lost sight of land. The Indians During the night the Indians took turns, to
Down on his luck in France, Irving happily received, in early 1826, an invitation from the U.S. Embassy in Madrid to visit Spain and translate a book about Columbus by the naval officer and scholar, Don Martin Fernandez de Navarrete. Deciding to enlarge this work, Irving spent the next two years completing, with Navarrete’s assistance, an original manuscript about America’s discoverer. Published by Murray in London in 1828, A History and Voyages of Christopher Columbus was, according to the DAB, “the most painstaking effort of Irving’s life... Superseded by modern histories and biographies on the same subject, it still charms, and is a testimony, with its carefully documented pages, to Irving’s minor gift as an amateur historian.” Our page (476) is from the manuscript of that book and differs from the published version, which can be found in Book XVI, Part V. Accompanied by a printed page reading “The following sheet contains a page of the original manuscript of Washington Irving G.P. Putnam Sons January, 1895.” Darkly written and in very fine condition, but for closed tears at the upper and lower right corners.