The Sketch Book

Pets fed. Also myself.

After I read old HG Wells Moon Men, then new The Time Traveler's Wife, so I was looking for something old again. Picked up The Sketch Book, by Washington Irving. A "Merrill's English Texts" study edition, 1911. Charles Addison Dawson, Ph.D, Head of the Dept of English, Central High School, Syracuse, NY, editor.

Inside the front cover is penciled a name and address here in town, the note "Junior High," and the days and times of English and "Anc History" classes. I wonder what year she was studying with this volume. I find the "study edition" notes and footnotes sometimes distracting as I keep flipping to the back, but more frequently informative and helpful with old usage and references and unfamiliar scenes. My distaste for "study volumes" is from my 1960s and 1970s studies, not this learned text from over a century ago.

I thought I was familiar with Irving pretty much only by name, although when I finished the sixth "sketch," Rip Van Winkle, I realized I had read that before, maybe a half-century ago. Fresh and amusing.

I quoted from the opening chapter, "The Author's Account of Himself" in the Art Thread a couple of days ago, regarding his choice of topics to "sketch."

My follow-up comment will quote a St. Valentine's Day-appropriate selection, from "The Wife." The editor notes that "This sketch of pathetic sentiment, in its forms of expression and figures of speech, will seem to many trite and out of date." Really? I read the whole thing aloud to Milady and we both wept freely.