James Allen

James Allen 1864 - 1912

James Allen (November 28 1864 - 1912) was a philosophical writer born in Leicester England. He was born into a working class family where his mother could neither read or write and where his father, William, was a factory knitter. Following a downturn in the textile trade in 1879, his father went alone to America to find work with the rest of the family to follow later. Within two days of his arrival, he was declared dead at the New York City Hospital, believed to have been a victim of robbery and murder.

At the age of 15, James Allen was forced to quit school and find work to support his family and through the 1890's he would be working as a private secretary in several manufactring firms.

It was in 1893 that James Allen moved to London where he met Lily Oram whom he married in 1895. Three years later he found an occupation that would support him in his spiritual and social interest writing for the magazine The Herald of the Golden Age. It was following this new work, that he began his creative period following with his first publication in 1901 when he published From Poverty to Power and in 1902 he began publishing his own magazine The Light of Reason.

In 1902, after having moved to Ilfracombe, James Allen published his most famous book As A Man Thinketh, a collection of thoughts that would later become one of the main sources for the modern time inspirational thought. This would set him up as one of the pioners of the idea that man is what he thinks and nothing is impossible to those with the right mindset. This book, and other writings made it possible for him to focus on his writings and editing career.

His wife sumarized his literary mission in the words He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.

Return from James Allen to mentors