Dublin's Early Joyce
1 Two Essays, 1901

TWO ESSAYS. | “A Forgotten Aspect of | the University Question” | BY | F. J. C. SKEFFINGTON | AND | “The Day of the Rabblement” | BY | JAMES A. JOYCE. | PRICE TWOPENCE. | Printed by | GERRARD BROS., | 37 STEPHEN’S GREEN, | DUBLIN.

Contents: p. [1], half-title; p. [2], preface; pp.  [3]–6, text of “A Forgotten Aspect of the University Question”; pp. [7]–8, text of “Day of the Rabblement” [the date of composition is printed at close of essay: October 15th, 1901]. Published: 21 October 1901; 85 copies printed, 2d; bound in pink paper covers, title-page printed in black on front cover [within double-rule borders (18.7 x 11.2 cm.), with decorative corners and devices at top and bottom centers]; two folio leaves stapled twice through spine; printed on cream-white wove paper, cover and all edges trimmed, 21.1 x 13.6 cm. [Slocum & Cahoon B1]1

The production of Two Essays was a joint venture of Joyce and his Royal University classmate, Francis Skeffington. Both essays were refused by the faculty advisor to the student newspaper, St. Stephen’s. A desire to be heard, not financial gain, was surely their motivation: the pamphlet cost them £2/5 to print, so even if the press-run had been doubled, at 2 pence each, Joyce and Skeffington could not have recouped their expenditure.

2 Chamber Music: The Beach-Gilvarry Manuscript, [1902–04]

Holograph fair copy manuscript in Joyce’s hand in black ink, prepared in Dublin, of 33 of the 36 poems published as Chamber Music, consisting of 27 large and 6 smaller sheets. The texts are relatively centered on the leaves (although unevenly on the smaller ones) and all the versos are blank. The larger sheets are of heavy laid paper, 43.1 x 28.6 cm., watermarked “Signal/Note” with a design of a shamrock and a rising sun, trimmed on all sides. The chain lines on these larger sheets run 2.3 cm. apart in both directions, indicating that they were cut down to this size and that Joyce probably acquired them as remnants from a stationer or printer. Joyce paginated the sheets 1–27 in the bottom, center margin in pencil. Some of these sheets are tattered along the edges and foxed, especially pp. 1 and 27. A 13.3 x 15.1 cm. portion of the right corner of p. 27 is torn and missing. The smaller sheets are of wove paper, 20.2 x 32.8 cm., trimmed on all sides. All these sheets were unevenly torn out of a notebook (at the same time) along their bottom edges and poems “(2)” and “(3)” were further torn along their left edges. These sheets have horizontal chain lines that run 2.8 cm. apart. Joyce paginated the first five smaller sheets “1–5” in parentheses in pencil in the lower right corner and he paginated the 6th “13” in ink, centered directly below the text. [Slocum & Cahoon E1.a]

Textual collation: Seventeen fragments, drafts and fair copies of individual poems dating from 15 December 1902 to September 1904 are at Yale, Cornell and University College Dublin. Joyce most likely prepared other, similar (presumably variously arranged) fair copy manuscripts of the suite. The Beach-Gilvarry manuscript is the earliest surviving arrangement that approximates Chamber Music. They are the first thirty-four poems with the exception of XXI. Those on the larger sheets correlate to poems I, III, II, IV, V, VIII, VII, IX, XVII, XVIII, VI, X, XIII, XIV, XV, XIX, XXIII, XXII, XXIV, XVI, XXXI, XXVIII, XXIX, XXXII, XXX, XXXII and XXXIV in Chamber Music. The remaining six on the smaller paper correlate to poems XXVII, XI, XII, XXVI, XXV and XX. Two other, more complete sequences of poems follow this manuscript arrangement: one is at Cornell (Scholes 21) and a later (1905) arrangement is at Yale.2 The final printer’s copy of the manuscript is also at Yale: Joyce signed and dated it 24 October 1906, with the address Via Frattina 52II Rome. While in Dublin in 1909, Joyce made a holograph fair copy of the published suite of poems on vellum for Nora Joyce. The Beach-Gilvarry manuscript was not reproduced in the James Joyce Archive. 

Provenance: Stanislaus Joyce sent this manuscript to Joyce in Paris at the end of 1927 or the start of 1928, along with other material his brother had left behind in Trieste. Joyce gave this manuscript to Sylvia Beach in January 1928 together with the essay “A Portrait of the Artist” (now at Buffalo). Beach offered it for sale in her 1935 Shakespeare and Company catalog of Joyce books and manuscripts.3 Slocum tells us, furthermore, that the “manuscript was sold for Miss Beach by Marian Willard to a New York collector. It was offered for sale by several dealers in 1947 and is now privately owned in New York.”4 Then, James Gilvarry, the New York Irish-American art collector and bibliophile purchased the manuscript. McFarlin Library acquired it from Christie’s, New York, at auction on 7 February 1986. The sale of Gilvarry’s collection of books and manuscripts was described as “arguably the most important range of modern Irish literature offered for sale since the John Quinn auctions in 1923–24.”5 

Joyce was not concerned with the sequence of the verses he was writing in 1901–1902, but by December 1902 a structure for the suite of songs had emerged. On a memorable day in the spring or summer of 1903, Joyce, who was carrying with him his prized verses in a “roll of vellum,” and Oliver St. John Gogarty met for the first time. Weeks later, when the “reluctant” Joyce was finally ready to show his verses to him, Gogarty described the roll: “His manuscript consisted of twenty large pages. In the middle of each page was a little lyric that looked all the more dainty from the beautiful handwriting in which it was written […].”6 Tindall records that “Richard Best, the librarian, who appears in Ulysses, recalls that on first visiting George Russell, Joyce shyly took out of his pocket ‘a great roll of expensive writing paper … and he unrolled it. And there in the very center of each page were two or three lines of verse, and Joyce read out these lines to him.’”7 This description of a Chamber Music manuscript strikingly resembles the Beach-Gilvarry manuscript.

Joyce revised the manuscript by scraping-off a line on p. 8 (IX) and a word on p. 12 (X) with a knife or other sharp instrument. Joyce wrote the newer text in a darker shade of ink and the text beneath is illegible. Someone else wrote “Yah!” on pp. 7 and 15 and pencil lines connect these exclamations to “dainty” and “(innumerous)” in the last lines of poems VII and XV. Someone, possibly Stanislaus Joyce, added a stanza in the left margin of p. 5 of the larger sheets in pencil: it is not in Chamber Music. The inscription “r. from y.” was written in an unknown hand in the margin below the page number “27.” Vertical pencil lines were made beside the right margins of the verses on pp. 17–19, 22, 23 and 26 as well as along the right margin of the first stanza on p. 25. There is also a pencil brace around the last two lines of second stanza on p. 9. There are traces of finger smudges at the edges of most larger sheets, also the first is spotted and there are ink stains on the recto of p. 5 and the versos of pp. 4 and 24.

Venture,  [1904]
~ Cyril Connolly Library & Rupert Hart-Davis Library

Venture: an Annual of Art and Literature, Dublin [November 1904]. “Two Songs,” p. 92. [Slocum & Cahoon B2]

Joyce saw his first publication in book form in Venture: an Annual of Art and Literature, edited by Laurence Housman and W. Somerset Maugham, when they published his “Two Songs” in 1904. Shown here alongside Connolly’s is a copy that belonged to Sir Rupert Hart Davis, whose Soho Bibliographies series published Slocum and Cahoon’s 1953 Joyce bibliography.
5 Dana, May & August 1904 ~ Richard Ellmann Library

Dana: An Irish Magazine of Independent Thought, Dublin (May 1904–April 1905). “Song,” (August 1904) No. 4, p. 124. [Slocum & Cahoon C28]

Dana was a short-lived periodical, edited by Frederick Ryan and John Eglinton (W.K. Magee), an assistant librarian at the National Library of Ireland. Joyce incorporated the poem, here simply entitled, “Song” into his first book as poem VII of Chamber Music published three years later by Elkin Mathews of London.
Chamber Music, 1907
~ Harriet Shaw Weaver Collection & Cyril Connolly Library

1907 | Chamber | Music | BY | James Joyce | ELKIN MATHEWS | Vigo Street, London
(74K)  (80K)

Contents: p. [1], half-title; p. [2], blank; p. [3], title-page; p. [4], printer; pp. [5-40], text, Roman numerals head each poem consecutively, I-XXXVI. Published: May 1907; printed by: Gilbert & Rivington Ltd. Clerkenwell, London, E.C.; 509 copies, 1s, 6d.; bound in green cloth, 16.3 x 11.4 cm.; stamped in gilt on front cover: CHAMBER | MUSIC | JAMES JOYCE, and on spine: CHAMBER MUSIC JAMES JOYCE | Elkin | Mathews; printed on white laid paper, 15.9 x 10.9 cm. [Slocum & Cahoon A3]

These are copies of the third of three variant bindings of the edition, distinguished by the thin wove endpapers and poorly centered text in signature C: thick wove endpapers distinguish the second variant from the third. The first binding, most rare of the three, is nearly half a centimeter taller than the second and third variants and has thick, laid endpapers with horizontal chain lines and well-centered text throughout. Mathews printed 509 sets of sheets for Chamber Music in 1907 and initially bound only a fraction of those sets. A comparison of inscribed and dated copies suggests that the remaining sets were bound simultaneously in second and third variant bindings later, probably no earlier than 1915.8 Elkin Mathews published the second edition in 1918.

Joyce inscribed the Weaver Collection copy on its front free endpaper: “To | an unknown and generous friend in | gratitude for a munificent | gift | James Joyce | Zurich: Switzerland | 26 March 1917.” This book is one of several that Joyce gave to Weaver, who he only later discovered was the anonymous benefactor of a recent gift. Like the majority of Harriet Shaw Weaver’s books at The University of Tulsa’s McFarlin Library, Special Collections, this copy bears the bookplate: “National Book League | London | The James Joyce | Collection | presented by | Miss Harriet Shaw Weaver.”

8 Gas from a Burner, [1912]

Broadside. Contents: p. [1], caption title: GAS FROM A BURNER | text [a poem of 98 lines] | James Joyce. | Flushing, September 1912. ; p. [2], blank. Published: late 1912; printed in Trieste; 1000 copies, distributed free; printed on white wove paper, 60.1 x 23.4 cm. [Slocum & Cahoon A7]

In 1907, when Elkin Mathews published Chamber Music, he refused Dubliners. Joyce offered Dubliners to Maunsel & Co., who advertised the book in their 1910 catalog. After an absence of a year and a half, Joyce returned to Dublin in July 1912 to attend to the prolonged difficulties of getting his short stories published. One thousand copies were printed but never bound as Maunsel’s printer, John Falconer, objected to the content and destroyed most of the sheets. Gas from a Burner refers to Falconer’s presumed burning of that edition of Dubliners. The broadside should be read alongside Joyce’s public appeal, “A Curious History,” in which he complained about Dublin’s censors. Gas from a Burner marks Joyce’s farewell to Dublin.
9 W. B. Yeats, Manuscripts of “An Old Song re-sung”
and “To an Isle in the Water,” [1888]

Holograph manuscript with one poem on each side, consisting of one leaf of white wove paper, 18 x 12.5 cm., in black ink faded to brown. Both sides are signed in gray ink: “W.B. Yeats | 1888.”

“An Old Song re-sung” and “To an Isle in the Water” were first published in The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems (London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1889); then in The Wanderings of Oisin: Dramatic Sketches, Ballads & Lyrics (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1889) and again in Poems (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1895) where “An Old Song re-sung” appeared for the first time under its revised title, “Down by the Salley Gardens.”

Provenance: Acquired through Bertram Rota Ltd. on 12 January 1987.

Yeats added a note to “An Old song re-sung” for the first edition in which he explained: “this is an attempt to reconstruct an old song from three lines imperfectly remembered by an old peasant woman in the village of Ballysodare, Sligo, who often sings them to herself.” A later, fair copy of “An Old Song re-sung” is at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin, and there is another, undated manuscript of “To an Isle in the Water” at the University of Delaware.

10 W.B. Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds, 1899
~ Cyril Connolly Library

The Wind | Among the Reeds | BY | W. B. YEATS | [ornament]

Contents: p. [i], half-title; p. [ii], By the Same Author ; p. [iii], title-page; p. [iv], blank; pp. [v–vii], [contents]; pp. 1–108, text [37 verses, with notes]. Bound in blue cloth over boards, 19.9 x 13 cm., gilt stamped on front cover, spine, and back cover, printed on cream-white laid paper, 19.3 x 12 cm.

Though Yeats noted his plans for a book of verse entitled “The Wind Among the Reeds” in a notebook he had used in autumn of 1893, the volume was not published until 1899.9  In April of that year, after years of negotiations, two editions of the book came out simultaneously, Elkin Mathews’s English edition and John Lane’s American one. The cover of the English edition, shown here, was designed by Althea Gyles who had also designed the covers of Yeats’s The Secret Rose (1897) and the 1899, revised edition of Poems. Though Mathews proposed printing the design in yellow, Yeats insisted on gilt. This copy of Yeats’s The Wind Among the Reeds belonged to his father’s friend, the poet and English professor, Edward Dowden. Yeats expressed his opposition to Dowden’s aesthetic that encouraged English over Irish literary influences. Dowden held a chair at Trinity College Dublin, the Protestant rival to Royal University, which Yeats described this way: “Trinity College, which desires to be English, has been the mother of many verse writers and of few poets; and this can only be because she has set herself against the national genius, and taught her children to imitate alien styles and choose out alien themes. […] An enemy to all enthusiasms, because all enthusiasms seemed her enemies, she has taught her children to look neither to the world about them, nor into their own souls, where some dangerous fire might slumber.”10  Edward Dowden signed this copy in Cyril Connolly’s library and it bears Hilda Dowden’s bookplate.

11 Photograph of W.B. Yeats, 1928 ~ Richard Ellmann Papers
12 Chamber Music, 1918 ~ Harriet Shaw Weaver Collection


Contents: pp. [1–2], blank; p. [3], half-title: CHAMBER MUSIC ; p. [4], BOOKS BY JAMES JOYCE | A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man | Dubliners (Short Stories) | Exiles (Drama) | Chamber Music | Ulysses (In Preparation) ; p. [5], title-page; p. [6], copyright; p. [7], PUBLISHER’S NOTE | This is the only American edition of | Chamber Music that is authorized by Mr. | Joyce. ; p. [8], blank; p. [9] half-title; p. [10] blank; pp. [11–46], text, poems numbered consecutively from I to XXXVI; pp. [47–48], blank. Published: 30 September 1918; printed in the United States; $1; bound in dark brown boards, 18.2 x 12.3 cm.; gilt stamped on front cover: CHAMBER MUSIC by JAMES JOYCE and stamped in blind on spine: CHAMBER MUSIC by JAMES JOYCE; printed on cream-white wove paper 17.5 x 12.1 cm., watermarked: Regal Antique. Issued in a cream-white dust-jacket with photograph of Joyce and press notices. [Slocum & Cahoon A6] B.W. Huebsch also published the first American editions of Joyce’s Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man both in 1916, and Exiles in 1918. Huebsch inscribed this copy of Chamber Music to Weaver, whose Egoist Press had recently published an English edition of A Portrait using the sheets Huebsch provided: “Harriet Weaver | November | 21st 1918 | from B. W. Huebsch.”

13 Chamber Music, 1923 ~ Harriet Shaw Weaver Collection

CHAMBER | MUSIC | BY | James Joyce | LONDON | THE Egoist Press | 2 ROBERT STREET, ADELPHI | 1923

Contents: p. [1], half-title; p. [2], First Edition (Elkin Mathews), 1907. | Second Edition (Elkin Mathews), 1918. | Third Edition (The Egoist Press), 1923. | BY THE SAME WRITER | Dubliners … 6/- | A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 7/6 | Exiles, 5/- ; Ulysses… £2 20 | (Published by the Egoist Press, London.) | PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY THE WHITEFRIARS PRESS, LTD., | LONDON AND TONBRIDGE. ; p. [3], title-page; p. [4], blank; [5–40] text, Roman numerals head each poem consecutively, I–XXXVI. Published: August 1923; 500 copies; bound in green cloth on boards, 18.1 x 12.4 cm.; stamped in gilt on front cover: CHAMBER MUSIC | JAMES JOYCE, and on spine (from bottom to top) THE EGOIST PRESS | CHAMBER MUSIC | JAMES JOYCE ; printed on white laid paper, top edge gilt, all edges trimmed, 17.2 x 11.9 cm. [Included in Slocum & Cahoon A4]

Joyce inscribed this copy of the only Egoist edition of his poetry to its publisher: “To | Harriet Weaver | in token of gratitude | James Joyce | London | 3 August 1923.” The following year, Weaver gave the rights to this title, along with 393 sheets from her own edition, to Jonathan Cape, Ltd., who then became Chamber Music’s English publisher. Cape issued two more editions within Joyce’s lifetime, one in 1927 and another in 1934.


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