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Outlines of English and American Literature
Knickerbocker School
by Long, 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.]

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