Wikipedia:Peer review/Washington Irving/archive1

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Washington Irving[edit]

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because… we are hoping to get this up to Good Article status. I have been collaborating particularly with User:Federalistpapers, who is sorta new to the Wiki world but deserves all the credit for the improvements to this article in the last several months. Let us know what you think. Thanks! --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:54, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

  • A script has been used to generate a semi-automated review of the article for issues relating to grammar and house style. If you would find such a review helpful, please click here. Thanks, APR t 01:34, 24 May 2008 (UTC)


  • I have just partially copyedited this (only up to the end of the Early years subsection). I don't have the time to do the rest, so I advise a complete copyedit by someone new to the text. Please see Wikipedia:Peer review/volunteers and LOCE/Members for lists of copyeditors who can help you.
  • I noticed it is listed at LOCE, but that will take forever - contact individual editors yourselves through their Talk pages by asking nicely, and you'll get plenty of help very quickly.
  • I did come across some sentences which could be expanded. For example, "Prior to its publication, Irving started a hoax akin to today's viral marketing campaigns; he placed a series of missing person adverts in New York newspapers seeking information on Diedrich Knickerbocker, a crusty Dutch historian who had allegedly gone missing from his hotel in New York City."- This doesn't seem to add anything to the article unless you explain why Irving decided to do this, and what resulted from it.
  • "With residents and city officials buzzing in anticipation" - Seems like a generalization, are you completely sure this is an accurate statement to make?
  • Overall, very good job. Submit to WP:FAC after another full copyedit has been completed.

Wackymacs (talk ~ edits) 18:52, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Just wanted to say thank you for the feedback! I don't have time right now to take any action but I wanted to acknowledge the time you took to review. Thanks again! --Midnightdreary (talk) 14:02, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, thanks for the helpful feedback! I'll make a start at expanding on that one section that's mentioned -- it is an important part of Irving's story, and shouldn't disappear in the wash, so I'll expand on it. We'll give the article a scrubbing to see if there are other places that need some work.--Federalistpapers (talk) 14:50, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Comments from Awadewit - It is always nice to see that people are working on important author biographies! They are hard work! Here are my suggestions for improvement:

  • I am not a fan of infoboxes in biography articles - they are tricky to present in an objective fashion. If you decide to keep the infobox, I would remove the subjective fields, such as "Occupation", "Literary movement", "Influences", and "Influenced". These fields are not informative and highly debatable.
Agreed, at least on the influences/influenced section. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I see that some of the biographies used as sources are quite old - were they read with the appropriate skepticism and checked against more rigorous sources?
As User:Federalistpapers would quickly point, all biographies of Irving are old with the exception of two published in the past couple years. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
The last major biography of Irving was written in 1935. Apart from some literary criticism in the late 1970s, there have been no other biographies until the Burstein/Jones bios of 2007-2008. We're working from a relatively short bench, when it comes to sources, but have actually incorporated citations from most of what resources exist.--Federalistpapers (talk) 18:00, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The article is missing a substantial discussion of Irving's works. Much more research needs to be done regarding his writings. The article has the biography sketched out well, but not a description of his writings or his writing style. See Mary Shelley for an example of another author biography. One section of the article deals with the "life" and another with the "works". The "works" section is sourced to literary criticism on Shelley. The same needs to be done for Irving. The most helpful database for literary criticism is the MLA database.
Noted, and we'll begin doing some work on his work as a stand-alone section, I think. Dreary, what do you think?--Federalistpapers (talk) 18:00, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The lead should be expanded to be a true summary of the article per WP:LEAD. Not much is said about his life right now.
  • The president blessed young Irving,[3] an encounter Irving later commemorated in a small watercolor painting, which still hangs in his home today - Is it possible to obtain an image of this painting?
Probably not under a free usage. Historic Hudson Valley owns the original image, and charges for reproduction.--Federalistpapers (talk) 18:00, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • There are some stubby paragraphs, particularly in the "Bracebridge Hall and Tales of a Traveller" section. These could be fixed by briefly describing the books and the critics' reactions.
Easy enough. I'll get on that.--Federalistpapers (talk) 18:00, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The "Return to America" section is a bit choppy - the paragraphs need to flow into each other better.
  • The "Literary reputation" section focuses on the 19th century - a bit more on the twentieth century would be good.
Again, Irving rather "fell off the mantlepiece" in the 20th century. The Burstein book may have some information on this, and I'll review the sources I have on hand as well, to see if we can include some more updated assessments -- but the pickings are relatively slim.--Federalistpapers (talk) 18:00, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The "Impact on American culture" section is WP:TRIVIA and should be deleted.
I disagree, particularly because the fact that Irving creating the modern version of Santa Claus and d nickname for New Yorkers which is still used today don't seem that trivial; it seems pretty big to me. Maybe it needs to be incorporated better? --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The "Commemoration" section is approaching the trivial and is definitely a prose list. This should be rewritten to flow better.
I do agree with this! --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Having a good copy editor help polish the article would be a good idea at a later stage.
We have a request out there at LOCE. Whatever good that does. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I hope these suggestions are helpful! Awadewit (talk) 17:42, 31 May 2008 (UTC)