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 pioneers in general literature—novels, poetry and journalism.

Humorously titled after Irving's own pen name, many others later joined 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 of whom 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