James Cousins

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James Henry Cousins (1873 – February 20, 1956) was an Irish writer, playwright, actor, critic, editor, teacher and poet. He used several pseudonyms including Mac Oisín, Dog hearing boy, Seamus O' Potato, and the Hindu name Jayaram.

He was born in Belfast, Ireland, the descendant of Huguenot refugees. He was largely self-educated at night schools and after working some time as a clerk became private secretary and speechwriter to Sir Daniel Dixon, 1st Baronet , the Lord Mayor of Belfast. In 1897 he moved to Dublin where he became part of a literary circle which included William Butler Yeats , George William Russell and James Joyce. He is believed to have served as a model for the Little Chandler character in Joyce's short story collection Dubliners. Cousins was significantly influenced by Russell's ability to reconcile mysticism with a pragmatic approach to social reforms and by the teachings of Madame Blavatsky. He had a life-long interest in the paranormal and acted as reporter in several experiments carried out by William Fletcher Barrett, Professor of physics at Dublin University and one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research.

Cousins produced several books of poetry whilst in Ireland and as well as acting in the first production of Cathleen Ní Houlihan (under the stage name of H. Sproule) with the famous Irish revolutionary and beauty Maud Gonne in the title role, his plays were produced in the first years of the Twentieth...
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