His historical works include biographies of both Oliver Goldsmith, Muhammad and George Washington, in Addition to many foundations of 15th-century Spain that deal with topics like Alhambra, Christopher Columbus along with also the Moors. Irving served as American ambassador to Spain from the 1840s.
Born and raised at Manhattan into your merchant family, Irving made his literary debut in 1802 using a string of observational letters into the Morning Chronicle, composed under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. He moved to England for the family business in 1815 where he attained celebrity with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. , serialized out of 1819–20. He continued to release frequently during his lifetime, and he finished a five-volume biography of George Washington only eight months prior to his death at age 76 at Tarrytown, New York.
Irving was among the first American authors to make acclaim in Europe, and he invited other American writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe. He was respected by some British authors, such as Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Charles Dickens, Francis Jeffrey and Walter Scott. He advocated for composing as a valid profession and contended for stronger legislation to protect American authors out of copyright infringement.