|About the Book|
The wind now springing up, the Tonquin got under way, and stood in to seek the channel- but was again deterred by the frightful aspect of the breakers, from venturing within a league. Here she hove to- and Mr. Mumford, the second mate, was despatchedMoreThe wind now springing up, the Tonquin got under way, and stood in to seek the channel- but was again deterred by the frightful aspect of the breakers, from venturing within a league. Here she hove to- and Mr. Mumford, the second mate, was despatched with four hands, in the pinnace, to sound across the channel until he should find four fathoms depth. from Chapter VII The storied wildness of the American West captured the imagination of Washington Irving as completely as did the cultured romance of Europe, and the native New Yorker had barely returned home, in 1832, from nearly two decades abroad in England, France, Germany, and Spain when he set out again, this time for the frontier. The West truly was still wild then, to Continental and colonial eyes, and Irving was moved to tell one of the most fascinating adventure tales of the hardy men who explored and mapped it. This is Irvings lost classic, a riveting, rollicking account of John Jacob Astors grand dreams of building a fur-trading empire in the Pacific Northwest, of the expeditions he sent West, and of his ultimateand abysmalfailure. First published in 1836, Astoria has been unfairly maligned as historically inaccurate, but more recent scholarship has proven the books detractors wrong: this is not only an essential work of brilliant literature by one of the great American writers, it is also an important factual chronicle of a foundational era of the American story that should not be forgotten. American author WASHINGTON IRVING (17831859) wrote extensively in the areas of history and historical biography but is best known for his short fiction, including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.