Washington Irving (1783-1859) was a short-story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat. An author of both fiction and non-fiction works, he wrote histories of places like the Alhambra in Spain, biographies, numerous short stories and tales of his travels. The short story "The Devil and Tom Walker" is about a miserly man who makes a deal with the devil. Irving’s fictional character Diedrich Knickerbocker is a Dutch-American historian and narrator of "The Conspiracy of the Cocked Hats" and the “golden age” of Wouter van Twiller, the Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam. "Old Christmas" is a volume of old English Christmas customs and traditions which influenced the development of American celebrations of the day.