James Allen was born on 28th November 1864 in Leicester, England. He was a philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry. At the age of 15 his father, a businessman, was robbed and murdered so he had to leave school to work full-time in several British manufacturing firms to help support the family. At the age of 38 he retired from employment to become a full time writer. Allen - together with his wife Lily and their daughter, Nohra - moved to a small cottage in Ilfracombe, Devon, England to pursue a simple life of contemplation. There he wrote for nine years, producing 19 works. He also edited and published a magazine, "The Light of Reason". His most famous book, As a Man Thinketh, is now considered an all time classic self-help book. Its underlying message is that noble thoughts make a noble person, while lowly thoughts make a miserable person. Allen died in 1912 at the age of 47.