William James was born in New York City on January 11, 1842, to an affluent, cosmopolitan, and deeply religious family. His father Henry dabbled in theology, doted on his five children, was well connected to literary and philosophical luminaries of the day, and often took the family for extended stays in Europe. His journeys to the continent were primarily theological and philosophical odysseys intended to resolve his conflicting spiritual bouts. His right leg had been amputated after burns suffered in a boyhood accident failed to heal. His spirit never quite recovered. A devoted father, he sought to provide his children with the sort of education that might enable them some day to outdistance their countrymen both in erudition and in breadth of knowledge. To this end, he enrolled them in fine schools, obtained for them gifted tutors, and saw to it that they frequented museums and attended lectures and the theater with regularity. William and two of his siblings would give fruit to their father's liberal educational efforts. Brother Henry became one of America's most famed novelists, and sister Alice acquired a literary reputation of her own after her diaries were posthumously published.
This site includes a broad array of William James' works in digitized full text as well as full text reviews, lesson plans, biographies and images of William James. Researchers in the history of psychology, or of William James in particular, will find this site to be very useful as it includes full text editions of most of James' work in addition to essays about James' impact on the field of psychology and comparisons between James and other psychologists. Some of the links here are dead, but otherwise researchers will find the navigation and layout of the site friendly and the information comprehensive.