Back to Dublin

Harald Beck (left) and Vincent Deane at the Martello Tower, Sandycove

Just back from a week in Dublin where Harald Beck and I checked out some Joyce-related sites, including

  • the Martello Tower at Sandycove (where we took measurements to see whether the action as described in Telemachus was feasible);
  • Paddy Dignam’s house in Newbridge Avenue, where Bloom joins the funeral in Hades;
  • the end of Leahy Terrace, where Bloom views Gertie McDowell on the strand (which is no longer there, as the land has been reclaimed) in Nausicaa;
  • the Star of the Sea church, which also appears in Nausicaa;
  • Clifton School in Dalkey, where Joyce taught briefly for a few months in early 1904 before leaving Ireland with Nora.

To go the extra mile, we also went to a Finnegans Wake reading seminar at Trinity College. During the two-hour session we covered one and a half pages. There’s another one next week if you happen to be in Dublin …

More from James Joyce Online Notes


The twelfth issue of James Joyce Online Notes contains a mix of articles on people, places, phrases, and customs from Joyce’s Dublin.

The origin of the nickname for the Freeman’s Journal, “an Old Woman in Prince’s street”, is investigated (the Freeman’s didn’t publish from Prince’s Street until 2 May 1826).

On a similar topographical line, Harald Beck researches George Moore’s reference to London as “the Brixton Empire”, which Joyce alludes to in “Aeolus”.

Did King Edward VII have a penchant for jujubes (fruit pastilles)? Joyce calls him the “jujube-sucking King” in “Lestrygonians”. It turns out that the King did indeed spend some of his leisure hours sucking bulls’ eyes and jujubes.

Attention is naturally focused on No 7 Eccles Street, but what was happening at No 8, next-door? “Woods his name is”, as Joyce tells us. “Stopping by Woods next-door” looks at the life of Patrick Woods and his wife Rosanna, with information provided by their great-grandson Paul Duffy as well as Dublin archive sources. Their tale is one that Joyce will not have known in full, starting promisingly – as the newly published photograph of the couple indicates – before family problems open up a path of decline.

No followers allowed” traces the genesis of this stock expression from newspaper small ads from the 18th century, and other articles cover the “rich” of the bacon and a “kish” of brogues (ignorant as a … ).

There are further regular updates to the pronunciation and mapping page “Joyce’s Pronunciations” and “Coming and Goings: Joyce and the OED”.

Update from James Joyce Online Notes – March 2016

Earlier this week Harald Beck and I published the tenth issue of the James Joyce Online Notes bringing the total number of articles up to 274 – variously grouped under “Joyce’s People”, “Joyce’s Words”, “Joyce’s Allusions”, and “Joyce’s Environs”.

In the past, we have investigated how action sequences in Ulysses can be mapped against the reality of Dublin, and this issue contains three articles of this nature. Ian Gunn and Clive Hart follow Bloom’s crumpled throwaway down the Liffey; Harald Beck plots Bloom’s peregrinations through the old Ormond Hotel (leading on to questions about the crossblind on the front window), and then (with Eamonn Finn) tracks Father Conmee on his walk to Artane.

Joyce’s vocabulary is a topic of perennial interest, and I’ve had a look at yogibogeybox. It seems there were mystic yogibogeys before Ulysses.

For more about the biography of Joyce’s minor characters, see Terence Killeen’s further investigations of Alfred and Marion Hunter, and Harald Beck’s notes on Herr Hauptmann Hainau.


From time to time, new information arises relating to articles that we have already published. This time, the article on “washing possible” is augmented with a copy of a postcard (discovered by Aida Yared) which is contemporary with Joyce’s use and earlier than other printed evidence. Aida has also discovered a postcard relevant to Joyce’s “missing gent” advertisement.



Update from James Joyce Online Notes – December 2015

The JJON web site ( has just been updated with several new articles.

Terence Killeen extends his investigations into the lives of Alfred and Marion Hunter with more information on Alfred Hunter’s predilection for retailing patent medicines and patent inventions: ‘Fitz-Epsykure’: The further adventures of Alfred and Marion Hunter.

The Ormond Hotel has been in the news recently, as developers sought to demolish the present building. But just how much of Joyce’s Ormond remains today?

Upper Ormond Quay in 1850
Upper Ormond Quay in 1850, from Henry Shaw’s Dublin Pictorial Guide & Directory

In Joyce’s Ormond Hotel Harald Beck looks at the history of the building in order to recreate the floor-plan and hence the movements of Bloom around the building, as described in detail in Ulysses. Elsewhere, he also explains the meaning and construction of the crossblind.

John Simpson follows the life of Joyce’s Professor MacHugh (Hugh McNeill) from his early promise and the shadow of a professorship to his death in the 1930s in the Dublin workhouse, in The reluctant professor MacHugh.

Hugh McNeill
Hugh MacNeill by Aaron (Harry) Kernoff from the Irish Times (28 October, 1935) : UCD Digital Collection, Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 (cropped)

Update from James Joyce Online Notes – September 2015

The JJON web site has been updated with the text of the latest issue, which contains seventeen articles as well as links to many of the (pre-Ulysses) texts in Joyce’s Paris library.

Harald Beck publishes details of a previously unknown correspondence between Joyce and the sculptor August Suter, to which access has been generously granted by the sculptor’s grandsons.

In the Ithaca episode Joyce describes Bloom in the style of a Dublin lost-dog advert. But the text was actually based on a curious and real advertisement run in the Dublin papers in 1902 – see A missing gent answering to the name of Bloom for the details. A comparable article identifies the source of Joyce’s horror headline A child bit by a bellows in Aeolus.

Bob Janusko examines the origins of Hamlet’s sledded poleaxe, and further articles explore brown-paper suits, a death at the Queen’s Hotel, Ennis (“where Rudolph Bloom … died”), and the variable price of Abram coal.