Outlines of English and American Literature Knickerbocker School byLong, William J.
It was due, one must think, to geography rather than to any spirit of
sectionalism, to difficulty of travel between the larger towns rather than
to any difference of aim or motive, that the writers of this period
associated themselves in a number of so-called schools or literary centers.
New York, which now offered a better field for literary work than Boston or
Philadelphia, had its important group of writers called the Knickerbocker
School, which included Fitz-Greene Halleck and Joseph Rodman Drake, both
poets and cheerful satirists of New World society; the versatile Nathaniel
Parker Willis, writer of twenty volumes of poems, essays, stories and
sketches of travel; and James Kirke Paulding, also a voluminous writer, who
worked with Irving in the Salmagundi essays and whose historical
novels, such as The Dutchman's Fireside (1831), are still mildly
interesting. [Footnote: Irving, Cooper and Bryant are sometimes classed
among the Knickerbockers; but the work of these major writers is national
rather than local or sectional, and will be studied later in detail.]