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Bracebridge Hall

Washington Irving

Book Overview: 

This wonderful book introduced the world to Bracebridge Hall, the ancestral home of the Bracebridges, an old English family that lived according to the customs of those who were "unto the manor born." "Bracebridge Hall" is a follow-up to "Old Christmas" which looks at the lifestyle of the rich, country dwellers, their servants, friends and neighbors. The daily lives and adventures of this peculiar population of early 1800's England forms the foundation upon which the episodes explored in "Bracebridge Hall" is built. Washington Irving wrote the book based upon his own experiences visiting England and the very real Bracebridge Family with whom he spent much time.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I had imagined; but on the contrary she has a degree of nature, and simple-heartedness, if I may use the phrase, that mingles well with her old-fashioned manners and harmless ostentation. She dresses in rich silks, with long waist; she rouges considerably, and her hair, which is nearly white, is frizzled out, and put up with pins. Her face is pitted with the small-pox, but the delicacy of her features shows that she may once have been beautiful; and she has a very fair and well-shaped hand and arm, of which, if I mistake not, the good lady is still a little vain.

I have had the curiosity to gather a few particulars concerning her. She was a great belle in town between thirty and forty years since, and reigned for two seasons with all the insolence of beauty, refusing several excellent offers; when, unfortunately, she was robbed of her charms and her lovers by an attack of the small-pox. She retired immedia. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Irving has a gift for creating relatively quick but vivid sketches of characters, settings, and scenes that can still put a smile on a reader's face so many years later. Irving doesn't relate any deep themes or involved plots. His stay at Bracebridge Hall provides us a pleasant diversion, however, w

If you feel like you were born in the wrong century read this book. It's a little slice of English country life with humor and sweetness. Not for someone looking for action or drama.

It is an unusual sort of book, in which the author at the beginning cautions the reader: "[I] have nothing of intricate plot, or marvelous adventure, to promise the reader. The Hall of which I treat has, for aught I know, neither trap-door, nor sliding-panel, nor donjon-keep: and indeed appears to h

Interesting, easy to read and full of supernatural elements. A very pleasant read.

A charming, idealised picture of rural life in early 19th century England with just the faintest hint of brimstone in the form of Cobbettism.

I love Irving's style and his return to Bracebridge Hall did not disappoint. The stories within the story took up a little too much time for my taste, but this may have been because I was reading this on my phone during stolen moments. I wish there were proper editions of this work still in print, t

Cute Cute Cute

Irving writes about a visitor to Bracebridge Hall and the happenings in preparation for an upcoming wedding. This was MUCH better than The Sketch Book. The "Author's Farewell" was the only time that hints of The Sketch Book came into play with politics and droning.

I particularly loved

A Show About Nothing

… and yet, as that other „show about nothing“ dating from the 1990s, very intriguing still. Washington Irving noted in his preface to Bracebridge Hall, which was published under the nom de plume of Geoffrey Crayon in 1821,

”I would have it understood, however, that I am not writi

I don't know whether Washington Irving took existing stereotypes of English country people, or if he invented them, but that's certainly what we find here. It's fairly harmless stuff, though, and written in an efficiently readable style of the flowery journalese type.

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