The Letters of William James - Vol. 1

By Henry James; William James | Go to book overview

IX

1883 - 1890 Writing the "Principles of Psychology" -- Psychical Research -- The Place at Chocorua-- The Irving Street House -- The Paris Psychological Congress of 1889

JAMES had now found his feet, professionally, as well as in other ways. He strode ahead on the next stage of his journey with a firmness of which he would have been incapable in the seventies, and carried a heavy burden of work forward, with never a long halt and without ever setting it down, until he had finished the two large volumes of the "Principles of Psychology" in 1890. The previous decade had counted steadily for inward clarification, for health and for confidence. He was no longer harassed by serious illnesses and pursued by the spectre of possible invalidism. Marriage, parenthood -- these immense events in a man's spiritual journey -- had happened for him within the last four years and had brought him new loves and ambitions. He was no longer perplexed by misgivings about his aims and abilities, but had arrived at the conception of his treatise on psychology and had begun to formulate its chapters. He had become a very successful teacher, and might fairly have suspected himself of being an inspiring one. His work was beginning to be well known outside the halls of his own University.

It is not the purpose of this book to trace the origin of his ideas or their influence on contemporary discussion. But any reader who will glance at Professor Perry's annotated

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