James Stephens (9 February 1880 – 26 December 1950) was an Irish novelist and poet.
James' mother worked in the home of the Collins family of Dublin and was adopted by them. James was brought up in a Protestant orphanage, the Meath Protestant Industrial School for Boys. He attended school with his adopted brothers Thomas and Richard (Tom and Dick) before graduating as a solicitor's clerk. They competed and won several athletic competitions despite James' slight stature (he stood 4'10" in his socks). He was known affectionately as 'Tiny Tim'. He was much enthralled by tales of military valour of his adoptive family and would have been a soldier except for his height. By the early 1900s James was increasingly inclined to socialism and the Irish language (he could speak and write Irish) and by 1912 was a dedicated Irish Republican. He was a close friend of the 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh, who was then editor of "The Irish Review", manager of the Irish Theatre and deputy headmaster in St Enda's, the radical bilingual school run by P.H. Pearse, and spent most with MacDonagh in 1911. His growing nationalism brought a schism with his adopted family, but probably won him his job as registrar in the National Gallery of Ireland, where he worked between 1915 and 1925, having previously had an ill-paid job with Mecredy solicitors' firm...
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