James Stephens was an Irish novelist and poet.
James' mother worked in the home of the Collins family of Dublin and was adopted by them. He attended school with his adopted brothers Thomas and Richard before graduating as a solicitor's clerk. They competed and won several athletic competitions despite James' slight stature. He was known affectionately as 'Tiny Tim'. He was much enthralled by tales of military valour of his adoptive family and would have been a soldier except for his height. By the early 1900s James was increasingly inclined to socialism and the Irish language and by 1912 was a dedicated Irish Republican. He spoke and wrote Irish. This brought a schism with his adopted family. James Stephens produced many retellings of Irish myths and fairy tales. His retellings are marked by a rare combination of humor and lyricism. He also wrote several original novels based loosely on Irish fairy tales. "Crock of Gold," in particular, achieved enduring popularity and was reprinted frequently throughout the author's lifetime.