This generous omnium-gatherum brings together all the writings William James published that have not appeared in previous volumes of this definitive edition of his works. Miscellaneous and diverse though the pieces are, they are unified by James’s style and personality, which shine through even the slightest of them.
The volume includes 25 essays, 44 letters to the editor commenting on sundry topics, and 113 reviews of a wide range of works in English, French, German, and Italian. Twenty-three of the items are not recorded in any bibliography of James’s writings. Two of the new discoveries are of particular interest: dating from 1865, when he was still a medical student, they are James’s earliest known publications and give his first published views on Darwinian biology, which was to affect profoundly his own work in philosophy and psychology. Among his reviews are one of “Ueber den psychischen Mechanismus hysterischer Phäomene,” by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud, published a year after the first appearance of that historically famous essay, and showing the breadth of James’s interests, reviews of George Santayana’s Sense of Beauty (1897) and Bernard Berenson’s Florentine Painters of the Renaissance (1896).