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There are more American writers who were diplomats than most people realize. For example, Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The House of the Seven Gables and The Scarlett Letter, as well as many other important novels and short stories, was an American consul in Liverpool, England. William Dean Howells, author of The Rise of Silas Lapham and other novels, articles, stories and poems, became consul in Venice in 1861. Washington Irving, who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, was a diplomat in Spain and England. Benjamin Franklin was a diplomat for the new United States in France. Henry Kissenger was a diplomat and a writer, too. It's interesting to contemplate this combination of professions, since being a diplomat means having to have some insight into viewpoints of those from other cultures, and I am guessing that in each case, the posting abroad greatly improved these writers' works.
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