Henry James was born in New York in 1843. His parents were Henry James Sr. and Mary James. Henry James had three brothers and one sister. Henry James' ancestor, William James, was an 18 year old Irishman who arrived in America in 1789. According to family legend, the ancestor arrived with a very small sum of money and later gained a small fortune through the establishment of a store in New York. Later, he ventured into banking and the manufacture of salt which paved his way as a powerful man in the upper Hudson area. Jamesville, New York and two streets in Albany and Syracuse were named after this legendary ancestor ( Henry James).
As a young child, Henry James had only private tutors and never gained any strict education. The year Henry James turned twelve years old his family moved to Switzerland and later to France and Germany. After the completion of his family's travels, Henry James returned to America and enrolled in Harvard law school for a while. He withdrew soon after his enrollment because he desired to pursue writing rather than an education. His father's leisurely lifestyle as a traveler and writer allowed Henry James to meet people like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bronson Alcott. His youthful years in Europe left a great impression. Later in his life, James moved to England where he established citizenship as a protest against America's failure to enter the war against Germany. Henry James died on February 28, 1916 ( "Henry James").
Some scholars criticize James works because of its slow development and deliberate withholding of information. These two characteristics are a result of his leisurely and refined lifestyle. Therefore, James purposely developed his novels with a conscientious slowness and refinement. James was interested in the society of people who possessed subtle ideas and interests much like himself and his father. The people in