Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: “Rip Van Winkle”
- When Written: 1817
- Where Written: England
- When Published: 1819
- Literary Period: American Romanticism
- Genre: Short story
- Setting: The Catskill Mountains, late 1700’s
- Climax: Rip Van Winkle is bewitched by strange beings on the mountain and passes into a deep sleep. When he returns home, nothing is the same.
- Antagonist: Dame Van Winkle
- Point of View: The story has layered narrators; the omniscient voice of the author presents us with the first person account of the fictional historian Diedrich Knickerbocker, who has personally investigated and recorded the events of Rip Van Winkle’s story.
Just in Time.Washington Irving also wrote a comprehensive biography of his namesake George Washington, which he completed less than a year before he died.
Overnight Success.Irving composed his first draft of “Rip Van Winkle” over the course of just one night in Birmingham, England.