Washington Irving is, arguably, one of America's greatest writers. He spent many years in Europe and kept records of his observations, which formed the basis of such classics as "Old Christmas," "Bracebridge Hall" and "Tales of a Traveler." This volume is the latest entry in a series of collected essays written during these early years. The fragility of the heart forms the basis of many of these short stories. Irving handles the issues of love, heartbreak and death in a caring and compassionate way.