The Life of George Washington by Washington Irving, Five Volumes, 1856-1859

Irving, Washington. Life of George Washington. New York: G.P. Putnam & Co.,1855-1859.  5 vols. set. Rebound in quarter tan calf leather and cloth with gilt and bilnd embossed stamps, titles, and tooling to boards and spine. Housed in a matching custom archival slipcase.

Presented is a beautiful five-volume set of Washington Irving’s Life of Washington. Originally published in 1855 (Volumes I-III), 1857 (Volume IV) and 1859 (Volume V), this set contains both first and second editions. In order from Volume I to Volume V, these books were printed in 1856, 1855, 1856, 1857, and 1859. All volumes have been beautiful rebound in quarter tan calf  leather and cloth, with blind embossed tooling and stamps to spines and front boards, raised bands and gilt embossed titles to spines, and a brown embossed facsimile signature of Washington to all front boards. All five volumes are housed together in a custom archival lined cloth slipcase with ribbon. 

Washington Irving's biography covers Washington’s military career, presidency, and his personal life. Using The Writings of George Washington and George Washington’s personal letters housed at the State Department, Irving was able to recreate Washington’s life after two years of extensive research. Unlike other Washington biographers of the time, like Mason Locke Weems and Chief Justice John Marshall, Irving wrote of Washington in a narrative style and painted a picture of a relatable figure to celebrate, rather than the mythical and infallible founding father. His contemporaries, like historians George Bancroft and William Prescott, praised Irving’s work for its detail and natural tone.  

Washington Irving (1783-1859) was an American short story writer, biographer, and diplomat. Most famous for his short stories Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Irving was also hailed as a great early American historical writer. Irving studied law and passed the bar exam in 1806, despite never attending college. In 1819, he published his first major work The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, a collection of short stories that demonstrated his unique style and wit. Spending many years writing abroad in Europe, Irving served as the Secretary to the U.S. legation in London from 1829-1832 and then Minister to Spain from 1842-1846. Upon his return to the United States, Irving dedicated the rest of his life to writing. Irving passed away in 1859, the same year the final volume was published.

CONDITION: 

Very good condition. Paper is still very bright and clean. Some light foxing and stains to frontispiece portraits and title pages, as to be expected with age. Vols. I- Vol IV have brown stained fore edges. Vol. V has marbled paper fore edges. 

All volumes have been beautiful rebound in quarter tan calf  leather and cloth, with blind embossed tooling and stamps to spines and front boards, raised bands and gilt embossed titles to spines, and a brown embossed facsimile signature of Washington to all front boards. All five volumes are housed together in a custom archival lined cloth slipcase with ribbon and Washington’s portrait inlaid and facsimile signature stamped on the front. Book Dimensions (with slipcase): 9 ¾” H x 9 ⅝” W x 6 ¾” D.




Related Items

Subscribe and save!

Sign up for our emails to receive exclusive flash sales! Get 50% off list price of incredible pieces, only offered to our subscribers.

CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE