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[91] Hudson River. In 1804 he went abroad for his health, returned and helped to write the light social satire of the Salmagundi papers, and became, after the publication of the Knickerbocker history, a local celebrity. Sailing for England in 1815 on business, he stayed until 1832 as a roving man of letters in England and Spain and then as Secretary of the American Legation in London. The sketch book, Bracebridge Hall, and Tales of a traveler are the best known productions of Irving's fruitful residence in England. The Life of Columbus, the Conquest of Granada, and The Alhambra represent his first sojourn in Spain. After his return to America he became fascinated with the Great West, made the travels described in his Tour of the prairies, and told the story of roving trappers and the fur trade in Captain Bonneville and Astoria. For four years he returned to Spain as American Minister. In his last tranquil years at Sunnyside on the Hudson, where he died in 1859, he wrote graceful lives of Goldsmith and of Washington.

Such a glance at the shelf containing Irving's books suggests but little of that personal quality to which he owes his significance as an interpreter of America to the Old World. This son of a narrow, hard, Scotch dealer in cutlery, this drifter

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