Irving's extensive work on Christopher Columbus is one of the most famous biographies in American history. The name of Washington Irving, prefixed to any work, is in itself a sufficient earnest of liberal sentiment and graceful composition. With generous principles and pure intellectual tastes, he unquestionably unites literary talents of no common order. The subject, also, which he has here chosen for the exercise of his powers, is one, if not of any real novelty, at least abounding both in romantic excitement and philosophical interest. It is a subject in many respects, congenial to his own poetical cast of feeling, his imaginative temperament, his amiable and enlightened spirit, and, above all, to his national enthusiasm as a citizen of that continent, of which the discovery has immortalised the fame of his hero. Endowed with such qualifications, and thus inspired by characteristic fondness for his design, it was easy to anticipate the degree of his success in its accomplishment; and it is needless to say, that he has produced a very amusing and elegant book.
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