On the last day of May in 1978, Hugo Linde and his wife, Eva, welcomed their first born son, James, a dyed-in-wool Gemini, into the world. James grew up in London, raised by his chemist father, and his speech therapist mother. A happy family, they lived comfortably and close to Eva's sister, Emilia, who, with her husband, had children of her own. Emilia's second son, Clarence, was close in age to James, and the two grew up side by side. Despite only being months apart, Clarence was a year ahead when the two boys went to Westminster School, and Clarence, who had no concept of consequences, tended to test the waters before telling James it was okay to dive in. Be it sports, social activities, or various friend groups, Clarence knew that James was a gentle, wary kid, who needed to feel a thing out before committing to it.
James' childhood was marked by two particular facets: his tall height and his lisp. James' mother, a speech pathologist, worked gently but diligently with him to eradicate the lisp by the time he was twelve. The lisp was gone, or at least, dramatically decreased, only returning when James was upset or in some heightened state of emotion, when he wasn't thinking about the proper way to form the word. Not particularly social, James spent most of his early years with his nose buried in books and practicing the piano. He also had a penchant for falling ill quite frequently. Colds, flus, nasty viruses wandering around the school all seemed to find James. At sixteen, he was stricken with a particularly nasty strain of mononucleosis that kept him out of classes for months, in and out of hospital. James insisted on maintaining his work, albeit at a slow pace. The idea of being held back a year was mortifying, and he refused to let it happen. At Westminster, James was a proper scholar and a well-rounded student. He played rugby and rowed crew, played in the orchestra, attended school dances, conjugated Latin and fell in love with Aristophanes. His cousin graduated and took a gap year, which meant that both boys were fit to attend university at the same time, and they both attended Cambridge University together, where James pursued philosophy, much to his chemist father's shock.
At Cambridge, James was encouraged by Clarence to audtion for Footlights, insisting that it would help him meet people, get him out of his shell and also help with the lisp that Clarence knew made James increasingly self-conscious. James, an introvert with extroverted facets to his personality, gave it a go. Much to his surprise, he was invited to join Footlights with his cousin, and from there he formed a bond with the troupe. He was hapless and sweet, a Buster Keaton-y type of performer with sincere eyes and a fluid physicality. He also provided most of the musical comedy accompaniment. Footlights also afforded James a social outlet, built in parties and events, built in friends and followers. It was in Footlights that he really flourished, meeting men, going on dates, waking up in strange beds and wandering back to his dorm early enough to finish the assignment he needed to polish for class. James graduated with a first, and applied immediately to do post-graduate work in philosophy at Cambridge.
His PhD program proved mostly uneventful, save for small relationships. The pursuit of love that seemed to consume every person around him (and occasionally consumed him as well) was what incited James to choose his topic of focus. James chose to write his PhD dissertation on the concept of love as something that is both inextricable from religious morality and the source of most direct defiance to the tenets of most spiritual belief systems. His dissertation caught they eye of a professor at Harvard Divinity, who reached out to James and began a series of emails intended to persuade him to consider another degree at the American institution. James, a natural scholar, found great solace in the idea of not yet stepping out of the world of academics. After weighing his options carefully, he agreed to seek another degree in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in pursuit of philosophical truths confined to the realm of spirituality and theology.
If asked, James would not define himself as a particularly religious man. He was not raised in any religion, his father is a thoughtful, logical chemist and his mother a science minded woman in her own right. Neither of them had any strong feelings on God either way -- their son's interest and pursuit of theological study continues to puzzle both of them, though they remain supportive of those pursuits. James' interest in religion lies from a curious standpoint: an unprovable belief belies an unsolvable problem, and though he doesn't imagine he can ever solve the equation, he does like the idea of digging in and trying to make sense of one very particular corner of it. One might say he thrives on it.
Currently, James lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a nice one-bedroom apartment. He returns home to London for the winter holidays, and enjoys short breaks on Cape Cod, Nantucket, or in Maine. It was on one of these particular trips to Nantucket that he met his partner, Lucas Carbonell, a television executive producer, playwright, and showrunner.