James ALLEN (1864 – 1912)
The burgeoning conflict between science and organized religion in the Nineteenth Century had many cultural offshoots, one of the most significant of which was the New Thought movement. New Thought exponents sought to reconcile the principles of science and general spirituality in a synthetic practical philosophy which explored the universality of the human experience. The literature which developed as a consequence has provided the basic material used by most of today’s self-help practitioners, and has won enduring popularity because of the simplicity of its concepts and the practical methods it espouses. Among the earliest and most celebrated of these authors was James Allen (1864 – 1912). A reclusive man, he spent the last ten years of his life in rural seclusion in the village of Ilfracombe in Devon, during which period he wrote most of his twenty books.