UNLIMITED Audiobooks and eBooks

Over 40,000 books & works on all major devices

Get ALL YOU CAN for FREE for 30 days!

Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey

Washington Irving

Book Overview: 

Although this book may not have the immediately recognizable title of, say, “Rip Van Winkle” or “Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” this book deserves its place among the pantheon of Washington Irving’s classics. Irving, who traveled extensively in his youth and throughout his life, was given a firsthand look into the lives of two great writers of the Empire: Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron.

Irving first chronicles his visit to Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, whom he notes had not, at the time of his stay, yet received his title of “baronet.” Scott gives Irving a personal tour not only of his home but of the surrounding neighborhoods and landmarks that are a part of Abbotsford. We get a unique glimpse into the private life of the celebrated writer and the reverence the people of his time held him in.

Irving next moves on to Newstead Abbey, the home of the then-late Lord Byron. His travels are guided by Colonel Wildman, the individual who purchased Newstead Abbey following Byron’s death, and who restored the building to its former glory. In this portion of the book we learn of the fantastic and bizarre Byron family and its connection to Robin Hood and the famed locales of Sherwood Forest and Nottingham.

Few American writers gained famed for their extensive work outside of the United States. Washington Irving was unique in many respects, not the least of which was his enthusiastic curiosity of the “homeland” of so many Americans who were born literally around the time America was. His detailed writings of life in the early 19th century and the changes that were already taking over the more rural areas, can’t help but make one yearn for the even simpler times prior to his visit.

How does All You Can Books work?

All You Can Books gives you UNLIMITED access to over 40,000 Audiobooks, eBooks, and Foreign Language courses. Download as many audiobooks, ebooks, language audio courses, and language e-workbooks as you want during the FREE trial and it's all yours to keep even if you cancel during the FREE trial. The service works on any major device including computers, smartphones, music players, e-readers, and tablets. You can try the service for FREE for 30 days then it's just $19.99 per month after that. So for the price everyone else charges for just 1 book, we offer you UNLIMITED audio books, e-books and language courses to download and enjoy as you please. No restrictions.

Book Excerpt: 
. . . natural play of his mind, in its familiar moods, and its fecundity in graphic and characteristic detail.

His daughter Sophia and his son Charles were those of his family who seemed most to feel and understand his humors, and to take delight in his conversation. Mrs. Scott did not always pay the same attention, and would now and then make a casual remark which would operate a little like a damper. Thus, one morning at breakfast, when Dominie Thomson, the tutor, was present, Scott was going on with great glee to relate an anecdote of the laird of Macnab, "who, poor fellow," premised he, "is dead and gone—" "Why, Mr. Scott," exclaimed the good lady, "Macnab's not dead, is he?" "Faith, my dear," replied Scott, with humorous gravity, "if he's not dead they've done him great injustice—for they've buried him."

The joke passed harmless and unnoticed by Mrs. Scott, but hit the poor Dominie just as he had raised a cup of tea. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Beautiful, just beautiful! I especially loved Abbotsford...Irving's account of his visit and conversations with Sir Walter Scott were pure delight. Scott reminded me of his own character Oldbuck, The Antiquary, and just as I was thinking this, it was confirmed by Irving himself observing the resembl

A beautiful description of the homes of Sir Walter Scott and of Lord Byron. Stories about the local culture and environment are interspersed with bits of poetry. Recommended to anyone interested in the history of either of these men.