Event—Public Programming

The Case of Irving’s ‘Life of George Washington’, 1889 (?): A Biblio-Mystery

The Newberry holds a unique ten-volume set of Washington Irving's Life of George Washington. It includes fifty original letters by Washington and other well-known figures from the founding of the United States, as well as 500 portraits and other illustrations. The set seems an elaborate example of extra-illustration--all the more remarkable for its similarity to two other sets, all seeming to have been issued in this spectacular format by the publisher, G. P. Putnam's Sons. This talk will delve into the mystery of these sets: how were they produced and sold? What were the sources for the manuscripts and prints? And what does it all signify?