- Lyall H. Powers
James, Henry (15 April 1843–28 February 1916), writer, was born in New York City, the son of Henry James, a religious philosopher, and Mary Robertson Walsh. His brother was philosopher William James. His grandfather William James, an Irish immigrant, landed in America in 1789; a bold, shrewd, and far-sighted entrepreneur who benefited from intelligent involvement in New York politics, he prospered in Albany and Syracuse in shipping, extensive real estate speculation, and the very lucrative development of salt refining and died one of the wealthiest men in the country, leaving his heirs “leisured for life,” as his son Henry put it. James’s knowledge of Europe began early and was regularly refreshed by his father’s constant transatlantic journeys in the belief that European experience was essential. By the time James was eighteen, he had spent about one-third of his life abroad. He attended a variety of schools and studied with tutors in both Europe and the United States. James was a precocious “devourer of libraries,” but in the spirit of ...