Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.

January 11: William James (1842)

It was on this date, January 11, 1842, that American psychologist William James was born in New York, the son of a Swedenborgian theologian, Henry James, Sr. Emanuel Swedenborg was the 18th century Swedish mystic who entered ecstatic trances, claimed to have therein visited heaven and hell, but was found by his contemporaries to be sane and sensible. In modern analysis, his trances have been explained by a severely repressed sexuality.

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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


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October 5: John Addington Symonds

John Addington Symonds (1840) It was on this date, October 5, 1840, that British writer John Addington Symonds was born in Bristol. He was educated at Oxford and married Janet Catherine North (sister of botanical artist Marianne North), on 10 November 1864, producing four daughters. Having health problems throughout his life, Symonds gave up the […]



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