he was never, in his relations to that section, or, for that matter, to any locality save possibly London
, anything more than a “visiting mind.”
His grandfather was an Irish merchant in Albany
His father, Henry James
, was a philosopher and wit, a man of comfortable fortune, who lived at times in Newport
, and Boston
, but who was residing in New York when his son Henry was born in 1843.
No child was ever made the subject of a more complete theory of deracination.
Transplanted from city to city, from country to country, without a family or a voting-place, without college or church or creed or profession or responsibility of any kind save to his own exigent ideals of truth and beauty, Henry James
came to be the very pattern of a cosmopolitan.
Avoiding his native country for nearly thirty years and then returning for a few months to write some intricate pages about that American scene
which he understood far less truly than the average immigrant, he died in 1916 in London
, having just renounced his American citizenship and become a British subject in order to show his sympathy with the Empire
, then at war. It was the sole evidence of political emotion in a lifetime of seventy-three years.