Knickerbocker Group

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The Knickerbocker Group was a somewhat indistinct group of 19th-century American writers.[1] Its most prominent members included Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper and William Cullen Bryant. Each were respectively pioneers in general literature; novels, poetry and journalism.

Humorously titled after Irving's own pen name, many others later came to join the club. These include James Kirke Paulding, Fitz-Greene Halleck, Joseph Rodman Drake, Robert Charles Sands, Lydia Maria Child, Gulian Crommelin Verplanck, and Nathaniel Parker Willis.[2] Most were also frequent contributors to the literary magazine The Knickerbocker.

The group's penchant was writing heroic or epic stories in a sophisticated manner. They especially utilized parody, satire and romanticism. The Knickerbocker Group lived in New York City.

The novel, The Black Vampyre, has been viewed as a commentary on the Knickerbocker group, condemning them to be "vampires" that benefit on the behalf of others. The work criticizes plagiarism and authorship in the early-19th-century literary scene.[3]


  1. ^ Gale, Cengage Learning (13 March 2015). A study guide for "Smaller Movements and Schools". Gale, Cengage Learning. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-4103-2090-2.
  2. ^ Nelson, Randy F. The Almanac of American Letters. Los Altos, California: William Kaufmann, Inc., 1981: 30. ISBN 0-86576-008-X
  3. ^ Burduck, M. L. (2014-01-01). "Early-19th-Century Literature". American Literary Scholarship. 2012 (1): 219–242. doi:10.1215/00659142-2680081. ISSN 0065-9142.


  • The American Pageant by David M. Kennedy, Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey