He made up [Mr. Knickerbocker] the author, wrote the book, and made sure that it came out on the feast day of Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas), who was much loved by NY's Dutch colonists. The good saint had always been pictured as a tall, thin bishop riding a white horse - that is, until W.I., in his book, gave us a stout, jolly St. Nick, who 'rode over the tops of the trees, in that self-same wagon wherein he brings his yearly presents to children.'"
The above is a passage from my picture book bio of bon vivant, diplomat Washington Irving, published a few years back by the Nat'l Geographic Society, quoted here in honor of my book, of course, AND this being St. Nicholas Day, and my wanting to point out that Clement Clarke Moore got his notion of jolly St. Nick from Wash Irving, America's first international celebrity author, who also wrote the spooky Legend of Sleepy Hollow; who, by the way, almost singlehandedly popularized the notion of a traditional, wassail-slurping, mistletoe-smooching, sleigh-riding, Yule-log-flickering, Merrie Olde English Christmas.
|Sgt. Alfred Joyce Kilmer|