Author Washington Irving believed this, his monumental biography of America's first great military hero and president, to be his finest literary achievement. Indeed, it is a masterful work, a superlative life of George Washington, and stood as a definitive text long after its 1860 publication. Volume II explores the early skirmishes of the American Revolution, including the Battle of Long Island and its disastrous aftermath and the famous Christmas morning crossing of the Delaware, as well as Washington's relationship with the Marquis de Lafayette. WASHINGTON IRVING (1783-1859) was born in New York City to Scottish immigrant parents. Considered by some the "Father of American Literature," Irving is best known for his short stories, including "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle," but he also produced an extensive bibliography of essays, poems, travel books, and biographies.