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The Correspondence of William James

William and Henry 1856-1877
William James. Edited by Ignas K. Skrupskelis and Elizabeth M. Berkeley
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This volume begins a new series: William James's correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues, starting when William James was fourteen and on his second trip abroad and concluding when he was thirty-five, negotiating with the president of Johns Hopkins University about a course he had been invited to teach on the relation between mind and body. These letters deal with everything from his protracted search for a vocation, his recurrent physical and emotional problems, his irregular education, his odd -- one might say Jamesian -- courtship of Alice Howe Gibbens, and his developing views on art, morality, politics, women, medicine, philosophy, science, religion, national character, the Civil War, the South, Americans abroad, and other writers and thinkers. They are witness to his growth into adulthood and the price he paid for that growth. William James's teenage letters reveal an adolescent amazingly charming and precocious who displayed from the beginning the promise of his maturity: witty, self-assured, and discerning.