This is a parody of ‘Roscoe’, an essay published in Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1820). Irving (1783–1859) was the first American author to achieve significant success in Britain. 1 A New Yorker, Irving lived in Europe from 1815 to 1832. Having achieved success in the United States with A History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker (1809), a book which his friend Scott later praised warmly, it was the Sketch Book which established Irving’s international reputation. Instalments were published in New York in 1819 and in February of the following year the first volume was published in London by John Murray. It describes Crayon’s experience of Europe and its culture, and, in particular, his travels in England, the ‘land of wonders’. The miscellany was granted a positive critical reception, a fact no doubt aided by its author’s friendship with both Scott and Francis Jeffrey, and was also a popular success, compelling Murray to pay as much as 3,000 guineas for later books by Irving. Byron thought highly of the Sketch Book, 2 though Hazlitt compares Irving unfavourably to Lamb in The Spirit of the Age . 3