year of birth : 1864 | place of birth : Leicester, Central England
parents: William | spouse : Lily Louisa Oram | nationality : British
occupation : Writer, Journalist, reporter, Private secretary and stationer in several British manufacturing firms
" Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him. "
" You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. "
" Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound. "
James Allen was born in Leicester, Central England, November 28, 1864. The financial crisis that resulted forced James to leave school at fifteen. He eventually became a private secretary. He worked in this capacity for several British manufacturers until 1902, when he decided to devote all his time to writing.
The works of James Allen are eminently practical. He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing, or to add another to the existing books. According to his wife, Allen wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice. Unfortunately, Allen's literary career was short, lasting only nine years, until his death in 1912. During that period he wrote nineteen books, a rich outpouring of ideas that have lived on to inspire later generations.
We become spiritually rich, Allen writes, when we discover the adventure within; when we are conscious of the oneness of all life; when we know the power of meditation; when we experience kinship with nature.
James Allen strove to live the ideal life described by Russia¹s great novelist and mystic Count Leo Tolstoy - the life of voluntary poverty, manual labour and ascetic self-discipline. His search for felicity for man on earth was typically Tolstoyan. He would remain there for an hour in meditation. Then he would return to the house and spend the morning writing. The afternoons were devoted to gardening, a pastime he enjoyed. His evenings were spent in conversation with those who were interested in his work.