Washington Irving

1783 (New York) – 1859 (Tarrytown, N.Y.)

Dickens carried out a warm correspondence with Irving, stayed with him in Tarrytown, and acknowledged his influence on his own writing. Scott, Irving’s idol (they shared a talent for dramatising history), became a friend for life, as also did Longfellow, who wrote how Irving put everyone at their ease. Irving encouraged Hawthorne, warmly welcomed Audubon, and studied alongside Allston in Rome. Poe rather cynically got his endorsement, while Cooper acted in rivalry. A mutual friend (whose own offer she’d already rejected) tried to get Shelley and Irving to marry: it’s unclear whether either was actually attracted to the other.