He sat near them at the table and asked where his father and mother were. One answered:
—Goneboro toboro lookboro atboro aboro houseboro.
Still another removal! A boy named Fallon in Belvedere had often asked him with a silly laugh why they moved so often. A frown of scorn darkened quickly his forehead as he heard again the silly laugh of the questioner.
—Why are we on the move again if it’s a fair question?
The same sister answered:
—Becauseboro theboro landboro lordboro willboro putboro usboro outboro.
James Joyce was born in Dublin on February 2nd 1882. He lived in 14 houses with his family before he left Ireland for the continent of Europe in December 1902, returning briefly due to the illness and the subsequent death of his mother. He left Ireland permanently in October 1904 with Nora Barnacle.
This article looks at each of these 14 houses, as I cycle to all of them in the chronological order in which James Joyce and his parents and siblings lived, and in some cases died, in them.
Joyce referenced his families houses throughout his works, notably as places in which Stephen Dedalus grows up in a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but also in Ulysses as places in which Bloom, Molly and other characters live, work and wander around in.
The Joyce family moved house regularly and they became accustomed to being moved on from house to house, hence the last line in the quote from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, above, which forms the backdrop of this blog post.
Joyce makes fun of the moving between the various houses in Finnegans Wake in a passage about Shaun delivering a letter. In the passage, quoted below, he writes of the difficulties of delivering the letter and lists many of the houses that he lived in,
Letter, carried of Shaun, son of Hek, written of Shem, brother of Shaun, uttered for Alp, mother of Shem, for Hek, father of Shaun. Initialled. Gee. Gone. 29 Hardware Saint. Lendet till Laonum. Baile-Atha-Cliath. 31 Jan. 1132 A.D. Here Commerces Enville. Tried Apposite House. 13 Fitzgibbets. Loco. Dangerous. Tax 9d. B.L. Guineys, esqueer. L.B. Not known at 1132 a. 12 Norse Richmound. Nave unlodgeable. Loved noa’s dress. Sinned, Jetty Pierrse. Noon sick parson. 92 Windsewer. Ave. No such no. Vale. Finn’s Hot. Exbelled from 1014 d. Pulldown. Fearview. Opened by Miss Take. 965 nighumpledan sextiffits. Shout at Site. Roofloss. Fit Dunlop and Be Satisfied. Mr. Domnall O’Domnally. Q.V. 8 Royal Terrors. None so strait. Shutter up. Dining with the Danes. Removed to Philip’s Burke. At sea. D.E.D. Place scent on. Clontalk. Father Jacob, Rice Factor. 3 Castlewoos. P.V. Arrusted. J.P. Converted to Hospitalism. Ere the March past or Civilisation. Once Bank of Ireland’s. Return to City Arms. 2 Milchbroke. Wrongly spilled. Traumcon-draws. Now Bunk of England’s. Drowned in the Laffey. Here. The Reverest Adam Foundlitter. Shown geshotten. 7 Streetpetres. Since Cabranke. Seized of the Crownd. Well, Sir Arthur. Buy Patersen’s Matches. Unto his promisk hands. Blown up last Lemmas by Orchid Lodge. Search Unclaimed Male. House Condamned by Ediles. Back in Few Minutes. Closet for Repeers. 60 Shellburn. Key at Kate’s. Kiss. Isaac’s Butt, Poor Man. Dalicious arson. Caught. Missing. Justiciated. Kainly forewarred. Abraham Badly’s King, Park Bogey. Salved. All reddy berried. Hollow and eavy. Desert it. Overwayed. Understrumped. Back to the P.O. Kaer of. Ownes owe M.O. Too Let. To Be Soiled. Cohabited by Unfortunates. Lost all Licence. His Bouf Toe is Frozen Over. X, Y and Z, Ltd, Destinied Tears. A.B, ab, Sender. Boston (Mass). 31 Jun. 13, 12. P.D. Razed. Lawyered. Vacant. Mined. Here’s the Bayleaffs. Step out to Hall out of that, Ereweaker, with your Bloody Big Bristol. Bung. Stop. Bung. Stop. Cumm Bumm. Stop. Came Baked to Auld Aireen. Stop.
In this passage, at least eight of the houses the Joyce family lived in are mentioned, mostly in the chronological sequence of when they lived in them.
29 Hardware Saint,
12 Norse Richmound,
92 Windsewer. Ave.,
8 Royal Terrors,
He also mentioned some of the areas that they are located in,
Traumcon-draws, Fearview, Philip’s Burke, Clontalk, Cabranke. He also references 60 Shelbourne Road as 60 Shellburn, which is where James Joyce moved to when he left the family home in Cabra for good.
The James Joyce Digital Archive indicates that this section with Joyce’s former addresses was inserted into the transition proofs of Finnegans Wake sometime in February or March 1928. They largely went from appearance in the transition proofs to the published work without any amendments with the exception of minor spelling changes. You can see the insertions by comparing these two transition proofs here and here.
Joyce’s sister Eileen and her children visited the Joyce family in Paris in late February and early March of 1928 before returning to Dublin. Perhaps their visit and the associated recollections influenced his decision to insert the letter with the Dublin addresses into the text.
In Letters of James Joyce Volume Two. Edited by Richard Ellmann, there is a list of the addresses that James Joyce lived in. In the opening paragraph, Ellman concedes that,
The following list is fairly accurate, though some of the dates and places cannot be proved, and a few are conjectural.
The houses listed in Ireland prior to Joyce’s leaving for the Continent of Europe in 1904 are;
41 Brighton Square West, Rathgar
23 Castlewood Avenue, Rathmines
1 Martello Terrace, Strand, Bray
‘Leoville’, 23 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock
14 Fitzgibbon Street, Dublin
29 Hardwicke Street, Dublin
2 Millbourne Avenue, Drumcondra
17 North Richmond Street, Dublin
29 Windsor Avenue, Fairview
Convent Avenue, Fairview
13 Richmond Avenue, Fairview
8 Royal Terrace, Fairview
32 Glengariff Parade
7 St Peter’s Terrace, Phibsborough (Cabra)
The list compiled by Ellmann also includes references to trips Joyce made to Cork, Glasgow, London and Mullingar, as well as the time he spent in Clongowes Wood College. I am concerned mainly with the 14 houses that Joyce lived in with his parents.
Ellmann also lists:
60 Shelbourne Road, Dublin (a furnished room)
With James H. Cousins, 35 Strand Road, Sandymount
With his uncle William Murray, 103 North Strand Road, Sandymount
With Oliver St. John Gogarty, The Tower, Sandycove
These residences are not as central to this blog post, but we do pass all of them on the main part of this blog, the Joycycle, excepting the fact that the North Strand Road is not in Sandymount.
It is quite difficult to establish exactly where the Joyce family lived, particularly when they lived in and around the area of Fairview, but there is agreement and easily identifiable sources to verify James Joyce’s houses in his first and last years in Dublin. Much of these come from letters he wrote or from a list of houses he said that he lived in, as well as from the works themselves.
As well as the list above in Finnegans Wake, Joyce had his secretary Paul Léon write from Paris to Constantine Curran in Dublin on June 2nd 1937, with a list of addresses for Joyce’s biographer Herbert Gorman. The list is as follows,
41 Brighton Square Rathgar
3 or 6 Castlewood avenue Rathmines
1 Martello Terrace, Bray Co. Wicklow
Leoville Carysfort avenue Black Rock
29 Hardwick street Dublin
12 North Richmond street Dublin
2 Millburne Avenue Drumcondra
29 Windsor avenue Fairview
8 Royal Terrace Philippburgh avenue Fairview
12(?) Glengarriff Parade
7 St Peter’s Terrace Cabra
Martello Tower, Sandycove
60 Shelbourne road Dublin (lodgings)
There are some houses that are usually included by Joyce’s biographers that are missing from this list, notably the houses in Fitzgibbon Street, Convent Avenue and Richmond Avenue.
In his book My Brother’s Keeper, James Joyce’s Early Years, Stanislaus Joyce writes,
In Dublin the steps of our rapid downhill progress, amid the clamour of dunning creditors on the doorstep and threatening landlords, were marked by our numerous changes of address. I have before me a list of nine addresses in about eleven years, though I cannot be sure of the order.
The addresses he lists in order that he describes them in the book are,
Fitzgibbon Street, off Mountjoy Square
Millbourne Lane, Drumcondra
North Richmond Street
Windsor Terrace, Fairview
8 Royal Terrace
32 Glengarrif Parade
7 St. Peter’s Terrace, Cabra
Stanislaus remembers nine addresses but lists only seven. It is uncertain what the other two were, perhaps houses that he lived in after James left Cabra, or perhaps Convent Lane and Richmond Avenue, which do not feature in James Joyce’s list and for which there are no direct entries in Thom’s Directories. These addresses are listed in Richard Ellmann’s biography of James Joyce so perhaps Stanislaus told him about them in their meetings of 1953 and 1954.
In 1898 they were in a two-story, rather pleasant house at 29 Windsor Avenue in Fairview, where they remained at least until May 1899; they then moved in temporarily with a family named Hughes in a house in Convent Avenue; they had part of a larger house at 13 Richmond Avenue, in Fairview, in late 1899, and were still there in April 1900; their next move, in May, was to an attached house in 8 Royal Terrace Fairview.
Whatever the case, the stays in Convent and Richmond Avenues were short and are not remembered by James Joyce himself. Additionally, they are not explicitly referred to in the published works.
When Joyce left the family home in Cabra, he immediately crossed back over the River Liffey to the southside of Dublin to 60 Shelbourne Road. In this blog post, I stop at the last house that he lived in with his family and in particular his mother May, which was 7 St. Peter’s Terrace. On the rare occasions that he returned to Dublin, he stayed briefly with his father in St. Peter’s Road as well as in Fontenoy Street and with his Aunt Josephine on the North Strand as well as friends in Dromard Terrace formerly Strand Road in Sandymount, and famously the tower in Sandycove. Previously I created a blog post where I ran between the two houses in Cabra and Shelbourne Road, without passing a pub, Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub, which you can read here.
Joyce was born into relative prosperity in the Dublin suburb of Rathgar in 1882, moved nearby to Rathmines in 1884, before moving some 20 kilometres south to Bray in County Wicklow, in 1887, at the age of 5. As the family prosperity declined, they headed north from Bray, into numerous houses in Dublin, before eventually settling in Cabra on the northern edge of Dublin city.
The decline in the family prosperity as they moved northwards is described by Ken Monaghan, James Joyce’s first cousin,
The story of the Dublin Joyce family is an unfortunate one mainly because of my grandfather’s spendthrift habits and excessive liking for the products of Arthur Guinness and John Jameson. The family was dragged from comfortable middle-class circumstances on the fashionable south side of the city to the very unfashionable north inner city and to conditions of extreme poverty and destitution.
Jack Joyce was 43 when the move across the river took place. He always saw himself as the victim of circumstances, beset by enemies. He was never again to hold down full-time employment, There was occasional work from solicitors or accountants but otherwise the only money coming into the house was his small pension, most of which disappeared down his own throat in the form of alcoholic liquor.
Just as James Joyce was called Jim, to his family, John Joyce was known as Jack, such substitutions being common in Ireland.
Usually, in this blog site, I create a run around a theme that emerges from Joyce’s life and his writing. In this instance, in order to travel around all of the houses that Joyce lived in before he left Dublin, a distance of some 65km or so, too far for me to run, a different form of transport is needed, and as noted in Ulysses,
What facilities of transit were desirable?
When citybound frequent connection by train or tram from their respective intermediate station or terminal. When countrybound velocipedes, a chainless freewheel roadster cycle with side basketcar attached
I was countrybound, at least in part, So I planned a cycle route, without the side basketcar. I would make a Joyce cycle, or as I like to call it, a Joycycle.
I initially based the route on the houses and the order in which they are listed in Letters of James Joyce, Volume Two, Vivien Igoe’s book, James Joyce’s Houses & Nora Barnacle’s Galway as well as Roger Norburn’s A James Joyce Chronology. I have taken the dates listed in this blog post from Norburn’s book. Where there is an occasional conflict between the books, I note this in the text.
I tried to verify the addresses from original sources myself. I cross checked as many of the references as possible in Thom’s Directories from 1846 to 2012, almost all of which are available in the Dublin City Library & Archive on Pearse Street. Thom’s Directories are an almanac that includes a street directory for Dublin City and County together with the names of the principal residents of each property. I traced John Stanislaus Joyce through the directories in the late ninteenth and early twentieth centuries to track the Joyce family movements.
As well as Thom’s, I delved into the Census of 1901 and 1911, both of which are available online here. I then went to the Valuation Office in The Irish Life Centre on Abbey Street and then out to UCD to the Special Collections section of the James Joyce Library and the UCD Richview Library to look at their collection of maps. I also went to the libraries in Trinity College Dublin.
In the introduction to each of the houses, I have listed the valuation of the houses in 1904 to try and give a comparative figure between all of the properties. You can see how the valuation generally goes down as the Joyce family move from house to house.
In the articles on this website, I typically curate a route around points of interest that I find in the writings of Joyce. In this instance, it is more straightforward as each of the points on the route are determined by where he lived. In the city, I tried to take the direct point to point shortest routes. In the case of the journey between Castlewood Avenue and Bray, Bray to Blackrock and Blackrock to Hardwicke Street, I planned routes that were visually attractive and that I thought Joyce might possibly have used, rather than by the wider and newer dual carriageways. As well as visiting all of the houses Joyce lived in with his family in sequence, I also designed into the route a cycle past all of the other houses he stayed in Dublin, prior to his departure to the continent, and past a number of other interesting Joyce related places. The shortest route, according to Google in 57.6km. The final route we travelled was 63.54km and took 3 hr 53m according to Runkeeper.
Prior to doing the cycle, I went to all of the houses to take the various photographs as well as getting a feeling for the areas that the houses are in. When I took the pictures on the southside it was relatively sunny, particularly when I went out to Bray, and when I went to the northside it was dull and overcast. So I returned to all of the houses to try and get photographs showing them at their best and taken in favourable weather. This gives a particular impression of the properties, in some cases glamming them up, but at least it is for the most part, consistent.
By way of comparison if you look at Bruce Bidwell and Linda Heffer’s book from 1981, The Joycean Way: A Topographic Guide to ‘Dubliners’ & ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’, you will see some very grim photographs of Dublin and several of the houses including Leoville (p. 21) and 29 Windsor Avenue (p. 44). Chester Anderson took a particularly grim photograph of 29 Windsor Avenue (p.23), in his book, James Joyce and his World, published in 1967.
Printed in black and white, and seemingly taken on dull days, the unpainted plaster facades photographed in the early 1980’s, by Bidwell and Heffer and the 1960’s by Anderson, long before any economic uplifts in Ireland, point more directly to what the houses may have been like in Joyce’s time.
I returned to many of the properties after the cycle, thinking about this blog post. By way of example, spending hours trying to figure out where 13 Richmond Avenue is today. You can find out below.
The names of the houses and their addresses have sometimes changed, and on occasion have been demolished. I note these in the text that follows. In each of the house locations, I have included the Eircode, Ireland’s recently introduced postal code system, as a means of finding them. If you click on this link https://finder.eircode.ie you can access the address and map location on the Eircode system. Just pop in the relevant Eircode and it will take you to the relevant point on the map. The Eircodes also work in Google Maps.
I have also included a reference for the what3words address, a system that is both internationally recognised and extremely easy to use. What3words divide the world into 3m x 3m squares and give each square a set of unique identifying three English words. I think Joyce might have liked this system. The combination of words is random but in the reference to 32 Glengarriff Parade, it is strangely apt. One of the last and least salubrious of the Joyce family houses has a what3words reference of trades.villa.noble.
On the cycle, I was accompanied by Con Kennedy.
41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin. 2nd February 1882 – Spring 1884
Present Address: 41 Brighton Square, Dublin 6.
Eircode: D06 T9N3
1904 Valuation: 28l.
James Joyce was born on 2nd February 1882, in the house on Brighton Square, which as most commentators observe, is actually a triangle. The house was relatively new when the Joyces moved in, with Brighton Square established as a trust the year before, in 1891. James Joyce wasn’t actually born in Dublin City. In 1892 Brighton Square was in County Dublin, rather than the City. This was the case with most of the houses the Joyce family were born and lived in.
In Thom’s Directory of 1882, when he is first recorded in Brighton Square, John Joyce appears as Joyce, John esq. col.-gens office. He also makes an appearance in the category Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Traders as Joyce, John Stanislaus, 41 Brighton square, w. Rathgar. He holds station in Thom’s Directory of 1883 and 1884. In Thom’s Directory of 1885, he has left Brighton Square.
It should be noted that Thom’s Directory for each particular year gives details for the preceding year as it was published in January of each year, with the information frozen in October of the preceding year. So if you want information on Dublin in 1904, the Thom’s Directory to consult is the 1905 edition.
Joyce references Brighton Square in his work as he does most of the houses in which he lived. In the episode Penelope in Ulysses, Molly Bloom thinks of her early encounters with Poldy,
the very 1st opportunity he got a chance in Brighton square running into my bedroom pretending the ink got on his hands
When James Joyce was 2 years old he underwent the first of his numerous moves, setting a pattern that would continue until his death in Zurich in 1941. In this, his first move, he travelled a short distance, 1.8km northeast to 23 Castlewood Avenue in Rathmines. In John Stanislaus Joyce, Wyse Jackson and Costello (p. 126) say that the reason the Joyce Family moved was one of size, as Brighton Square was becoming cramped.
Between the first floor windows, you can see a plaque announcing this house as the birthplace of James Joyce. After a quick selfie with the house and plaque in the background, our journey begins and Con and I start the short cycle to Joyce’s second home.
23 Castlewood Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin. Spring 1884 – Spring 1887
Present Address: 23 Castlewood Avenue, Dublin 6.
Eircode: D06 F8X2
1904 Valuation: 28l.
You can see in the picture above that the house at Castlewood Avenue is substantially larger than 41 Brighton Square, being double fronted and two storeys over basement.
Castlewood Avenue is in Rathmines and it was in this house that Joyce’s brother Stanislaus was born. A pattern was set. For the Joyces, there were to be a lot of houses, and a lot of children.
In Thom’s Directory of 1885, 1886 and 1887, Joyce, John esq. is listed as residing at 23 Castlewood Avenue, Rathmines. His occupation, previously given as the col-gens office is not listed, perhaps the first sign of trouble ahead, but he is still to be found in the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Traders section.
In Thom’s Directory of 1888, the house at 23 Castlewood Avenue is occupied by a Patrick Carew. Joyce, John esq. of 23 Castlewood Avenue drops out of Thom’s Directory. A Joyce, John esq. is listed as 17 Richmond street, north, and 42 Sackville street, upper. This John Joyce remains in Richmond Street north for many years, causing confusion for people like me, tracing the Joyce family, as well as various landlords searching for John Stanislaus Joyce, ever elusive father of James.
Castlewood Avenue, being a relatively short distance from Brighton Square, allowed the Joyce family to stay in the social structures they were accustomed to, particularly the close family connections of Joyce’s mother May. The next house in Bray was some 20km away, to the southeast on the coast, perhaps deliberately chosen by John Joyce to keep his wife’s relatives away.
In Thom’s Directory of 1888, 1 Martello-Terrace, Strand, Bray is listed as vacant. It was soon to be filled.
The house at Castlewood Avenue is referenced in the list in Finnegans Wake, though like many of the houses Joyce gets the number wrong, understandable given the age he was when lived in the house,
3 Castlewoos. P.V. Arrusted. J.P. Converted to Hospitalism.
This house is listed for rental online for €6,000 per month and if you are feeling flush, or just curious you can see the listing here. There is a plaque, which is to the right of the front door. It features in the listing, noting that James Joyce wrote his first words in this house. As it lists his age as being between 2 and 5 years old they are perhaps not as meaningful as the words he wrote in the coming years. We cycle by with the house on our right and onwards towards Bray.
I chose to cycle along the coast to Bray, enjoying the scenery and fresh air. On this leg, we passed two places that Joyce stayed in. First, we cycled to Dromard Terrace, formerly Seafort Avenue West, just off Sandymount Green, where Joyce spent the famous night of 16 June 1904, the day on which Ulysses is set. From here we cycled along the coast through Blackrock Park, where Stephen runs in A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, before cycling along the coast to where Ulysses opens with the Stately, plump Buck Mulligan on the stairhead in the Martello Tower in Sandycove, now the James Joyce Tower and Museum. Joyce stayed here for a week in September 1904. For some reason Oliver St. John Gogarty thinks it was longer. In, It Isn’t This Time Of Year At All! he writes,
We lived there for two years, greatly to the anxious relief of our parents. Joyce had a job at an adjoining school. I had some reading to do for my medical degree. When the weather was warm we sun-bathed on the roof, moving around the raised sentry platform with the sun and out of the wind. In the evenings we would visit the Arch, kept by watery-eyed Murray, soon to become a widower, or go into the Ship in Abbey Street in the city to meet Vincent Cosgrove or ‘Citizen ‘ Elwood, our friends from the Aula Maxima.
Perhaps living with Joyce for a week seemed like two years, but, by turning him into Buck Mulligan, Joyce made St. John Gogarty immortal.
Leaving Sandycove behind, we keep to the coast, cycling up the Vico Road, choosing it for its associations with Finnegans Wake.
As I went for walks with Joyce in the afternoons I attempted to make landings on and explorations of the territory that was looming before us. Joyce suggested I should read Vico. But had Vico been translated into a language I could read? Yes, Michelet had translated him into French. That was not too easy for me either, and I decided I could get enough knowledge of Vico to pass by reading the article about him in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Meanwhile I could talk about him on our promenades.
“He was one of those round-headed Neapolitan men,” Joyce told me. I forget whom he mentioned as another of them. He told me of Vico’s theory of the cycles in history. These historical cycles connected in some way with the Vico Road that follows the bend of Dublin Bay between Dalkey and Killiney — in Joyce’s mind they did anyway.
Giambattista Vico was born in Naples and this view south to Bray Head is often compared to the view of the Bay of Naples. The view is beautiful, but not so easy to enjoy when you are cycling uphill into a strong south easterly wind. Once you crest the hill and cycle under the archway at Killiney Hill, it’s pretty much downhill all the way to Bray.
House 3: 1, Martello Terrace, Bray, County Wicklow. Spring 1887 – Late 1891
Present Address: 1, Martello Terrace, Strand Road, Bray, County Wicklow.
Eircode: A98 P661
1904 Valuation: 32l.
The house at Bray was beside the sea, close enough that on occasion the sea water rose to the level of the front door. It is located at the end of the long seafront, perfect for promenading and for John Stanislaus Joyce, the proximity to the Boat Club was ideal.
In Thom’s Directory of 1888, there is no mention of the Joyce family in 1 Martello Terrace which is listed as vacant. A Vance, James esq. is listed in 2 Martello Terrace. The Vance’s are mentioned in A Portrait as an Artist as a Young Man as living in number 7.
In Thom’s Directory of 1889, there is still no sign of the Joyce family, though Vance, James esq. is now at number 4 and Vance, Mrs. is at number 8. There is no listing in the 1890 Thom’s Directory for John Joyce at 1 Martello Terrace either. Mr. and Mrs. Wiseheart are listed at 23 Castlewood Avenue. Where is John Joyce?
I am not the only person wondering where the Joyces are. Patricia Hutchins in her wonderful book, James Joyce’s Dublin, thinks (p. 23) that they left Castlewood Avenue for an untraced house before they got to Bray. If they did, nobody seems to remember it.
Eventually, John Joyce appears in Thom’s Directories of 1891 and 1892, where Joyce, John S. esq. is listed as living at 1 Martello Terrace in Bray. Perhaps Thom’s, like myself did not quite know where he had been for the last few years. Joyce, John S. esq. of 1 Martello Terrace, Bray has also finally made it back to the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants, and Traderssection of Thom’s Directories for 1891 and 1892.
James Joyce remembered Bray well and was later to send his daughter Lucia there to stay with her cousins in 1935. Bray features in both Stephen Hero and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with the life and events surrounding the young Stephen described. In Stephen Hero, Stephen Daedalus refers to his childhood in Bray in the house where he had a nurse.
—I don’t believe, for example, that Jesus was the only man that ever had pure auburn hair.
—Nor that he was the only man that was exactly six feet high, neither more nor less.
—Well, you believe that. I heard you tell that years ago to our nurse in Bray — do you remember nurse Sarah?
—Mrs. Daedalus defended the tradition in a half-hearted way.
—That is what they say.
—O, they say! They say a great deal.
—But you need not believe that if you don’t want to.
—Thanks very much.
—All you are asked to believe in is the word of God. Think of the beautiful teachings of Our Lord. Think of your own life when you believed in those teachings. Weren’t you better and happier then?
—It was good for me at the time, perhaps, but it is quite useless for me now.
His stay in Bray was to prove useful to him, but the stay was again a short one. Late in 1891, the Joyce family began their relentless move northwards, stopping first at the edge of Blackrock village, 13.2km north from Bray.
We have a coffee and a crepe on the Bray seafront, fuelling up for the cycle back northwards. Much as there is a cyclical attraction in returning via the Vico Road, there is a long way to go and we cycle the less visually appealing route through Deansgrange, more in keeping with the Joyce family’s downbeat journey north.
House 4: “Leoville”, 23 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin. Late 1891 – Late 1892
Present Address: “Leoville”, 23 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin.
Eircode: A94 D407
1904 Valuation: 30l.
There is some disagreement about the dates that the Joyce family lived in Leoville. They may have moved in late 1891 or early 1892 and leaving possibly late in 1892 or in early 1893. Either way, the stay in Blackrock was memorable but brief.
Gordon Bowker in James Joyce: A Biography says of the house at Blackrock,
The new house was even more impressive than the last, sustaining the myth of a man continuing to prosper.
I can’t quite agree. Located inland, and with two rather than three stories, it looks to me to be a literal, few steps down. The Valuation Office seems to agree. the house at Bray being valued at 32l the highest valuation of any of the Joyce houses with Leoville valued at 30l.
In Thom’s Directory of 1891, 23 Carysfort Avenue is listed as vacant. In Thom’s Directory of 1892, John Joyce outdoes himself. He is listed in Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Traders twice. As Joyce, John, esq. 1 Martello Terrace Bray as well as Joyce, J, esq. Leoville, Carysfort, Blackrock. He really was a man about town.
In the County Dublin section of Thom’s Directory of 1892, he also appears twice. Joyce, John S. esq. is listed as living at1 Martello Terrace in Bray. The listing for 23 Carysfort Avenue is Leoville—Joyce, —, esq. He has made it, but his first name has not.
A Joyce, Miss, appears at 1 Martello Terrace, Kingstown, in addition to the Joyce, John esq. who is still at 17 Richmond street, north. Confusion could easily ensue.
In Thom’s Directory of 1893, you might expect John Joyce’s first name to appear in the listing for 23 Carysfort Avenue. Instead, the house name has been dropped and the listing simply says. Joyce, —, esq. But the good news for him is that he is still listed as Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Traders under his full name and address, Joyce, J. esq., Leoville, Carysfort avenue, Blackrock.
Although his stay in the house at Blackrock was short, it was important as Joyce first started writing essays in this house,
I believe his first essays to write were made here at Leoville, Blackrock.
However positive his beginning to write was, Leoville was the last house on the southside of Dublin, with the family prosperity ebbing away. Stanislaus writes about why they left Blackrock,
Unfortunately there was a boy in my class who lived at Blackrock and came into school by train. He informed our classmates that my father had run away from Blackrock becuase he had gone bankrupt. I considered myself in duty bound to call him a liar (though I knew I was) and to challenge to fight me after school.
James Joyce writes of Blackrock extensively in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Chapter II opens with Stephen Dedalus living in Blackrock. It is from here that he goes running in the nearby park.
During the first part of summer in Blackrock uncle Charles was Stephen’s constant companion. Uncle Charles was a hale old man with a well tanned skin, rugged features and white side whiskers. On week days he did messages between the house in Carysfort Avenue and those shops in the main street of the town with which the family dealt.
Leoville the name of the house at 23 Carysfort Avenue was the name used by Joyce as the residence of Mrs. Sinico who appears in both Dubliners and Ulysses, though he moves Leoville to Sydney Parade Avenue in Ballsbridge.
The eastern end of Carysfort Avenue was much changed when the Blackrock Bypass was created in the 1980s and the adjoining property to the east of Leoville was demolished to make way for the road. Leoville has since been subdivided into apartments. The Eircode reference above is for Apartment 1.
Leoville was to be the last house on the southside of Dublin that the Joyce family lived in, as from here they travelled to the northside of the city. The move is recreated in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, complete with the upset that Stephen’s mother displays,
Two great yellow caravans had halted one morning before the door and men had come tramping into the house to dismantle it. The furniture had been hustled out through the front garden which was strewn with wisps of straw and rope ends and into the huge vans at the gate. When all had been safely stowed the vans had set off noisily down the avenue: and from the window of the railway carriage, in which he had sat with his redeyed mother, Stephen had seen them lumbering heavily along the Merrion Road.
Joyce wrote happily of his time in Blackrock, the running in the park, the walks with Uncle Charles, all of this was to change with the move north. The physical distance was relatively short at 10.1km, the mental distance was to be much greater.
Stephen travels to Dublin on the train, whilst we cycle in along the Merrion Road, thankfully not lumbering heavily, the crepes from Bray fuelling our cycle. At Ballsbridge we turn down Shelbourne Road, passing 60 Shelbourne Road where Joyce moved to after he left the family home in Cabra in 1904, renting the large room on the first floor at the front. You can read my blog post, running between the two houses without passing a pub, Good puzzle would be Cross Dublin without passing a pub, here.
Oliver St. John Gogarty, describes Shelbourne Road thus,
It is a quiet road. The only traffic consists of the usual milk cart with its ‘gradual’ horse, a laundry ‘float’ or two and, now and then, the Sanitary Corporation’s scavenging cart full of liquid mud.
It is no longer a quiet road, being a main commuter route in and out of Dublin. We pass 60 Shelbourne Road and cycle into town along Pearse Street, around College Green. We pass over the River Liffey on O’Connell Bridge, just as the Gabriel and Greta Conroy do in The Dead. We don’t stop in the Gresham Hotel, continuing around Parnell Square before we cycle past Belvedere College as we make our way north to Hardwicke Street.
House 5: 29 Hardwicke Street, Dublin. Late 1892 – Late 1892
Present Address: Demolished in 1954.
Eircode: D01 KT98
1904 Valuation: 23l.
Having made the significant crossing of the River Liffey, the Joyce family stayed for a short period in a boarding house in Hardwicke Street.
The Trades Section of the 1893 edition of Thom’s Directory lists only two Boarding Houses in Dublin, one in Rutland Square, now Parnell Square, and one in Amiens Street. No Boarding Houses are listed in Hardwicke Street. There are no Hotels and Proprietors listed on Hardwicke Street either.
In the 1893 Dublin Street Directory section for Hardwicke Street, there are 48 properties listed. Numbers 10, 17, 23, 24, 25, 30, 40, 41, 38 are listed as tenements and 22 and 46 are described as vacant. The number of tenements and vacant properties gives a direct impression of what the street was like in 1892. A Mrs Gaynor is listed as being the resident on number 29. She is also listed there in the 1892 and 1894 Thom’s Directories and perhaps she was a landlady of sorts.
John Joyce does not appear in Thom’s Directory for Hardwicke Street, indicating the short length of time the family stayed here and their sub-tenancy.
The boarding house where the Joyce family stayed in 1892, and most of the northern end of Hardwicke Street, has been demolished. In its place is are blocks of Dublin City Council flats. I have given an Eircode close to where the boarding house was located. 29 was at the top of the street on the northwestern side. It would have been on the left-hand side in the picture above. The boarding house was close to St. George’s Church, and you can see the flats and the Church in the image above.
Nighttown was less than 1km away. Heighho, heighho.
The boarding house in Hardwicke Street is the setting for the story in Dubliners
Mrs Mooney, who had taken what remained of her money out of the butcher business and set up a boarding house in Hardwicke Street, was a big imposing woman. Her house had a floating population made up of tourists from Liverpool and the Isle of Man and occasionally artistes from the music halls. Its resident population was made up of clerks from the city. She governed her house cunningly and firmly, knew when to give credit, when to be stern and when to let things pass. All the resident young men spoke of her as The Madam.
This boarding house is the first of the nine houses Stanislaus remembers as the family moved back into the city,
According to my reckoning we moved up to Dublin in 1893. For the first months of our stay in lodgings there was no question of our attending school. We had a long vacation which my brother enjoyed exploring Dublin, with me at his heels.
Gordon Bowker writes of the move to the northside of Dublin,
Even in this precarious situation, John still harboured hopes of betterment. Aided by his loan from Dodd, in the summer of 1893, he again moved his family, first, to a gloomy house at 29 Hardwicke street, then to a far grander, four-storey end-of-terrace property at 12 Fitzgibbon Street close to Mountjoy Square. It was a bigger house than any they had occupied before, with three drawing rooms and seven bedrooms. But the north side of the Liffey was an area in decline; and this apparent advancement did not betoken any sudden improvement in his finances but rather the grand, almost final, flourish of a man teetering on the edge of a social abyss.
Like many of Joyce’s inner Dublin residences, Hardwicke Street crops up in Finnegans Wake,
29 Hardware Saint. Lendet till Laonum. Baile-Atha-Cliath.
The family were now northsiders as Joyce’s friend Padraic Colum writes,
James Joyce lived on the north side of Dublin —north of the river, that is. In a city so small, this fact would not appear to have much significance. But in Dublin opinion it had: the north side was a little less and the south side a little more bourgeois. Though his family had lived in various neighbourhoods, at the time of our meeting, Joyce was a north-side man, as was Mr. Bloom. For the few years I had been in the city I had lived on the south side, and Joyce to me was a man from another town.
Dillon Cosgrove in the preface to his 1909 book, North Dublin City and Environs writes,
There seems to be reason to say something about the north side of the City of Dublin, as that district has hitherto been somewhat neglected. In Gilbert’s otherwise excellent three-volume History of the City of Dublin it is altogether ignored.
Joyce was to write extensively about the north side of Dublin in this period and to include Dillon Cosgrave’s brother Vincent, who he first met in Belvedere, appearing as Lynch in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses.
The Joyce family stayed a short time in the boarding house, possibly they moved there at short notice after an enforced move from Blackrock. When they left in 1892 they moved a short distance away, just 650m, to Fitzgibbon Street. Dillon Cosgrave (p.46) says that Hardwicke Street was the first home of the Jesuits in Dublin. Joyce was in good company.
We cycle along Mountjoy Square on our cycle, noting the difference between the open space at Bray and the dense urban streets and park that characterise this area.
House 6: 14 Fitzgibbon Street, Dublin. Late 1892 – Autumn 1894
Present Address: 34 Fitzgibbon Street, Dublin 1.
Eircode: D01 F2W7
1904 Valuation: 25l.
Fitzgibbon Street runs northeast from Mountjoy Square to the North Circular Road. It has been renumbered and the house that the Joyce family lived in is now number 34. Street names and house numbers in Dublin have often been changed and several houses have been demolished or altered, making the task of identifying them difficult. Fitzgibbon Street is the first of the renumbered Joyce houses.
All of the houses on the southside of Dublin have plaques with a reference to James Joyce having lived there. This house, the first on the northside of Dublin, as with all of the houses on the northside, with the exception of the last house at St. Peter’s Road, does not.
Joyce, John S. esq. is listed as living at 14 Fitzgibbon Street in Thom’s Directory of 1894. In 1893 Frank Madden esq. is residing and it is vacant in 1895. John Joyce is also listed in the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Trades of 1894. In 1895 he loses his spot in the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Trades section.
Of the move to Fitzgibbon Street, James Joyce’s first cousin, Ken Monaghan writes,
The Joyce family’s destination was a cold, empty house at 14 Fitzgibbon Street, beside Mountjoy Square, right in the heart of what was set to become James Joyce’s Dublin. Over the next twelve years, the family lived a nomadic existence, moving from house to house basically whenever the rent fell due. The moves often took place in the middle of the night so as to avoid the landlord.
Joyce writes of the bleakness of the unfurnished room of this house in Ulysses where Stephen thinks,
of his father, Simon Dedalus, in an unfurnished room of his first residence in Dublin, number thirteen Fitzgibbon street
When you travel around the Joyce houses they all look to be of a vaguely similar size, but it is just a front. As the family moved, their possessions dwindling whilst their number grew, the house fronts were literal facades.
With a bare interior, the house at Fitzgibbon Street is not described in any detail in Joyce’s writings. But the sensations of the new city life that it affords, are. Life was now to take place largely outside of the home.
The sudden flight from the comfort and revery of Blackrock, the passage through the gloomy foggy city, the thought of the bare cheerless house in which they were now to live made his heart heavy: and again an intuition, a foreknowledge of the future came to him. He understood also why the servants had often whispered together in the hall and why his father had often stood on the hearthrug with his back to the fire, talking loudly to uncle Charles who urged him to sit down and eat his dinner.
—There’s a crack of the whip left in me yet, Stephen, old chap, said Mr Dedalus, poking at the dull fire with fierce energy. We’re not dead yet, sonny. No, by the Lord Jesus (God forgive me) not half dead.
Dublin was a new and complex sensation. Uncle Charles had grown so witless that he could no longer be sent out on errands and the disorder in settling in the new house left Stephen freer than he had been in Blackrock. In the beginning he contented himself with circling timidly round the neighbouring square or, at most, going half way down one of the side streets but when he had made a skeleton map of the city in his mind he followed boldly one of its central lines until he reached the customhouse. He passed unchallenged among the docks and along the quays wondering at the multitude of corks that lay bobbing on the surface of the water in a thick yellow scum, at the crowds of quay porters and the rumbling carts and the illdressed bearded policeman.
In Finnegans Wake, Joyce himself best describes the area and is succinct about the house and environs,
13 Fitzgibbets. Loco. Dangerous.
In autumn 1894 the Joyce family moved again, this time 1.8km north to 2 Millbourne Avenue.
We cycle down the short hill that is Fitzgibbon Street, along Jones Road past Croke Park, along Clonliffe Road and out across the Tolka River for the first time.
House 7: 2 Millbourne Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin. Autumn 1894 – Spring 1896
Present Address: Demolished. Now James Joyce Court, Millbourne Avenue, Dublin 9.
Eircode: D09 F8X3
1904 Valuation: 17l. (estimated)
This house at Millbourne Avenue was located just north of the River Tolka in Drumcondra, itself flowing west to east, to the north of Fitzgibbon Street. It was at the end of a lane, just south of St. Patrick’s Training College.
Stanislaus Joyce describes the house and its environs,
Our new house was a small semi-detached villa at Drumcondra on the outskirts of Dublin. I liked it because it was almost in the country at the foot of a low hill, and just near it were fields with a weir into the Tolka and woods where my school-friends and I could trespass at pleasure. Our neighbours in Millbourne Lane, except in the other half of the villa were farm-hands and navvies who lived in dilapidated cottages.
In the 1895 Thom’s Directory Joyce, Mr. John is listed in the County Dublin Directory living at 2 Millbourne Villas on Millbourne Avenue. He seems to have been demoted to being a Mr. rather than an esq. and does not appear in the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Trades section in 1895 or 1896.
James McKiernan is listed as living in Millbourne Villas in 1894. In 1895 when the Joyce family arrives it is split into numbers 1 and 2. In 1896 it reverts back to one house occupied by James McKiernan.
In Thom’s Directory of 1897, Mr. Harry Hilton is living at 1 Millbourne Villas. In 1898 the Villas become listed separately as Holywell-Villas, under Goosegreen-avenue. St. Catherine’s Well is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of the period, presumably influencing the name of Hollywell Cottage and Holywell-Villas. This naming and location in Thom’s Directories continue until 1912 when they are once again listed under Millbourne-avenue, together with the beginnings of the new College View Terrace, which appropriately is a newly constructed terrace facing directly onto the lands of St. Patrick’s Training College, now a campus of Dublin City University. Sometime in 1959 or 1960 Holywell Villas lose their name and simply become two houses on Millbourne Lane, the name Stanislaus used for Millbourne Avenue. Dillon Cosgrave (p.40) calls it Milibourne Avenue, formerly Mill Lane. Thom’s Directory of 1860 refers to it as Millburne-avenue.
There is no valuation given for the villas In Thom’s Directory of 1904. In 1920 they have a valuation of £17 each. They remained at this valuation into 2007, the rates payable based on the valuation of the property multiplied by a changing multiplier each year. So it is reasonable to value the house at £17 in 2004. Either way, it shows a decline in the valuation from the previous properties the Joyce family lived in.
The house in Millbourne Avenue is included in the list in Finnegans Wake, as is Drumcondra,
2 Milchbroke. Wrongly spilled. Traumcon-draws.
Joyce describes the area in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,
He crossed the bridge over the stream of the Tolka and turned his eyes coldly for an instant towards the faded blue shrine of the Blessed Virgin which stood fowlwise on a pole in the middle of a hamshaped encampment of poor cottages. Then, bending to the left, he followed the lane which led up to his house. The faint sour stink of rotted cabbages came towards him from the kitchen gardens on the rising ground above the river. He smiled to think that it was this disorder, the misrule and confusion of his father’s house and the stagnation of vegetable life, which was to win the day in his soul. Then a short laugh broke from his lips as he thought of that solitary farmhand in the kitchen gardens behind their house whom they had nicknamed the man with the hat. A second laugh, taking rise from the first after a pause, broke from him involuntarily as he thought of how the man with the hat worked, considering in turn the four points of the sky and then regretfully plunging his spade in the earth.
He pushed open the latchless door of the porch and passed through the naked hallway into the kitchen. A group of his brothers and sisters was sitting round the table. Tea was nearly over and only the last of the second watered tea remained in the bottoms of the small glass jars and jampots which did service for teacups. Discarded crusts and lumps of sugared bread, turned brown by the tea which had been poured over them, lay scattered on the table. Little wells of tea lay here and there on the board, and a knife with a broken ivory handle was stuck through the pith of a ravaged turnover.
Drumcondra is mentioned in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Stephen meets Heron, Boland and Nash on the Drumcondra Road and ends up fighting with them on the adjacent Clonliffe Road about who is the greatest poet, Tennyson or Byron. Stephen is hit with, of all things, a long cabbage stump.
Not only does Stephen fall out with his classmates about poets, but he also discovers that in Drumcondra they speak a different language to his Dean of Studies who talks about a funnel, which Stephen calls a tundish.
—To return to the lamp, he said, the feeding of it is also a nice problem. You must choose the pure oil and you must be careful when you pour it in not to overflow it, not to pour in more than the funnel can hold.
—What funnel? asked Stephen.
—The funnel through which you pour the oil into your lamp.
—That? said Stephen. Is that called a funnel? Is it not a tundish?
—What is a tundish?
—That. The… the funnel.
—Is that called a tundish in Ireland? asked the dean. I never heard the word in my life.
—It is called a tundish in Lower Drumcondra, said Stephen, laughing, where they speak the best English.
—A tundish, said the dean reflectively. That is a most interesting word. I must look that word up. Upon my word I must.
Stanislaus Joyce confirms that Stephen Dedalus’s tussle with his classmates is based on a real fight that his older brother had,
Even my brother, in spite of his poise and unruffled temper as a boy, could not escape the aggressive jealousy of his companions. The discussion about Byron and heresy and the tussle with three of his classmates in A Portrait of the Artist is neither invented nor exaggerated. He must have been thrown heavily against barbed wire, for my mother had to mend rips in his clothes so that he could go to school the following morning. It was one of the unpleasant memories of Millbourne Lane.
Stanislaus wasn’t above fighting with the neighbours either,
Our neighbours in Millbourne Lane, except in the other half of the villa, were farm-hands and navvies who lived in dilapidated cottages. Though there were certainly no signs of wealth about the children of our family, the infant proletarians from the cottages were unfriendly, and displayed their hostility by name-calling in chorus and stone-throwing. It was quite unprovoked, due solely to that innate animosity, observable everywhere in the lower classes, to anybody who is not quite yet so lousy as they are. Our house was well down the lane and we had to run the gauntlet of the unwashed every evening coming home from school. In the end I had a fight with one of the most active of the cat-callers a little red-headed rough-neck, who rejoiced in the sobriquet of Pisser Duffy. It was late in the afternoon, and the loungers from the cottages, and even the women, stood around without interfering. In the imaginary portrait for which I served as model, ‘A Painful Case’, my brother has given me the name of Duffy.
What with Stanislaus fighting again, this time with small locals, I find it amusing that the what3words reference is goad.tribal.cubs. This is not the last time that I find enjoyment in the chance happenings of words.
A look at the 1901 census, which you can see here, shows that the labourer M. Duffy lived with his family at 18 Melbourne Avenue, Drumcondra. A son, P. Duffy is also listed. When Stanislaus Joyce lived in Millbourne Avenue he was aged about ten or eleven. But as the P. Duffy listed was 6 in 1901, he would have been a newborn when Stanislaus lived there. Something isn’t adding up.
Millbourne Avenue is the area most changed since Joyce lived there. New housing estates have replaced the farms and farmland and little remains of the infrastructure of Joyce’s time there. 2 Millbourne Avenue was demolished in 1998 and apartments called James Joyce Court constructed in its place. I have given the Eircode for the site. Millbourne Avenue may not have been of great value to Joyce, but like with many of his former homes, he gave value to it.
In spring 1896 the family away from the cabbage smelling avenue and moved south into the city, 2.1 km to 13 North Richmond Street.
We head back the way we came, heading south on Jones Road before turning east and cycling along the North Circular Road to North Richmond Street, passing the O’Connells Schools that Joyce attended briefly, as we do.
House 8: 13 North Richmond Street, Dublin. Spring 1896 – Late 1896
Present Address: 13 Richmond Street North, Dublin 1
Eircode: D01 V1K2
1904 Valuation: 19l.
The move to North Richmond Street brought the Joyce family closer to town. North Richmond Street is just off the North Circular Road. At the junction with the North Circular Road is the Christian Brothers School that Joyce attended briefly, as did Oliver St. John Gogarty, albeit some four years ahead of James Joyce.
I pass through North Richmond Street on the Dubliners 21k He went through the narrow alley of Temple Bar quickly, which you can read here. I also write about it in Brown Imperturbable Faces, which you can read here.
Many biographers list James Joyce as living at 17 Richmond Street, but a completely different family of Joyce’s lived there. James Joyce’s family are never listed as living at an address in North Richmond Street in Thom’s Directories.
John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello explain,
A cursory glance at the Dublin street directories gives the impression that the family lived here for several years but confusingly another quite unrelated John Joyce (whose grave can be found in Glasnevin) also lived in the street, at No. 17. John Stanislaus Joyce’s stay would be so brief that Thom’s does not mention him there at all.
Thom’s Directories show that in 1888 a John Joyce esq. is listed at this address for the first time whilst also listed at 42 Sackville Street. He is continuously listed at this address until 1900 when a Mrs. Joyce is listed. The Glasnevin Cemetery records show that this John Joyce died on January 29th 1899 of intestinal cancer. Oddly listed as single, perhaps the Mrs. Joyce who takes his place at 17 North Richmond Street was not his wife. Mrs. Joyce is last listed here in 1904. In any event, this John Joyce was not John Stanislaus Joyce, tempting as it is to think he lived a double life.
George A. Mitchell esq. is listed as living in 12 Richmond Street North in Thom’s Directory in 1895 through 1898. So it is unlikely the Joyce’s lived there. Much more likely they lived in Number 13 as it is listed as vacant in 1896 and 1897.
North Richmond Street features throughout Joyce’s writings with mentions in most of his major works. Some examples follow,
Stephen was therefore very much surprised one evening as he was walking past the Christian Brothers’ School in North Richmond St to feel his arm seized from behind and to hear a voice say somewhat blatantly:
—Hello, Daedalus, old man, is that you?
North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.
Father Conmee sees the boys crossing to the Christian Brothers School in the Wandering Rocks episode of Ulysses,
A band of satchelled schoolboys crossed from Richmond street. All raised
untidy caps. Father Conmee greeted them more than once benignly. Christian
Also in Ulysses, Stephen thinks of,
of his mother Mary, wife of Simon Dedalus, in the kitchen of number twelve North Richmond street
12 Norse Richmound. Nave unlodgeable.
It is not clear why Mary Dedalus is in number twelve North Richmond street, rather than thirteen, and in the list in Finnegans Wake, the house is also listed as number 12. Most likely Joyce has misremembered the number. Joyce was in good company, Ellmann and others say the Joyce family moved to 17 North Richmond Street (p. 42).
It seems unusual that North Richmond Street is so influential in Joyce’s work, as he stayed there for such a short time, yet several of the stories in Dubliners spring from here.
Late in 1896, the family were on the move again, this time 2.0km northeast to Windsor Avenue, back across the River Tolka.
We cycle east on the North Circular Road, passing 17 and 21 Richmond Place where Joyce stayed on one of his infrequent visits back to Dublin, in 1912. We zigzag through the streets on the north inner city, making our way down Charleville Mall, where Fr. Conmee sees the barge in Ulysses and the boys meet up in An Encounter in Dubliners. We head off as they do travelling north on the North Strand Road. Joyce stayed with his Aunt Josephine in 1904 at 103 North Strand Road, which is here rather than in Sandymount. I cycle past knowing I will return to this particular house in a forthcoming blog post.
House 9: 29 Windsor Avenue, Fairview, Dublin. Late 1896 – May 1899
Present Address: 29 Windsor Avenue, Dublin 3.
Eircode: D03 R6H3
1904 Valuation: 17l.
Windsor Avenue is the first of four houses that Joyce lived in from 1896 when he was 14, to 1901 when he was 19, that are all in close proximity to each other, all just to the north of the River Tolka.
Richard Ellmann describes the four,
In 1898 they were in a two-story, rather pleasant house at 29 Windsor Avenue in Fairview, where they remained at least until May 1899; then they moved in temporarily with a family named Hughes in a house in Convent Avenue; they had part of a larger house in Richmond Avenue, in late 1899, and were still there in April 1900; their next move, in May, was to an attached house at 8 Royal Terrace, Fairview.
Like North Richmond Street, Joyce’s last house, Windsor Avenue was originally a cul-de-sac but was extended northwards to new housing built by Dublin Corporation in the late 1920s.
Having eluded them in 1896 and 1897, Thom’s Directories of 1898, 1899 and 1900 list a Joyce, Mr. John as being at 29 Windsor-Avenue off Fairview Strand, Clontarf and Dollymount. He is not listed in the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Trades sections in these years. He also appears listed at this address in the Valuation Office records.
The house at 29 Windsor Avenue becomes 92 Windsewer Avenue in the list in Finnegans Wake,
92 Windsewer. Ave. No such no. Vale. Finn’s Hot.
The smell obviously got to Joyce. The area is much changed from Joyce’s time there, in particular with the creation of Fairview Park from the exposed and pungent mudflats of the Tolka Estuary, which features in the rivers in Finnegans Wake as follows,
Only for my short Brittas bed made’s as snug as it smells it’s out I’d lep and off with me to the slobs della Tolka or the plage au Clontarf to feale the gay aire of my salt troublin bay and the race of the saywint up me ambushure.
Windsor Avenue was close to the Sewage Tanks and Chemical Manure Works at Ballybough and Annesley Bridges, as well as the mouth of the River Tolka and the mud flats of Fairview. No wonder Joyce referred to it as Windsewer Avenue. Joyce wrote a lot about the smells of Dublin, saying to his friend Arthur Power,
What is the first thing that you notice about a country when you arrive in it? Its odour, which is the gauge of its civilisation, and it is that odour which percolates into its literature.
I have written a blog post about the smells of Dublin, Pprrpffrrppffff, which you can read here.
If you want to stay in a Joyce house you can rent the house at Castlewood Avenue and 29 Windsor Avenue is sometimes available to stay in as an Airbnb rental. Airbnb rentals are paid in advance, so someone has learned from John Joyce’s rental shenanigans. You can see the AirBNB link here. It is listed as James Joyce’s Childhood Home, so why not put up a plaque? Pubs never mentioned by Joyce do, so why not homeowners?
In May 1899 the family moved again, this time, 1.0km west to Convent Avenue.
As we cycle along Windsor Terrace it strikes me how many of the houses John Stanislaus Joyce chose to live in were on the edges of Dublin, perhaps he loved the countryside and wanted to be near it, or perhaps he wanted to keep away from people, landlords, in-laws and their ilk.
We cycle westwards on Fairview Strand passing the Jewish Burial Ground and as we head onto the Richmond Road.
House 10: Convent Avenue, Fairview, Dublin. May 1899 – Autumn 1899
Present Address: 223 Richmond Road, Dublin 3.
Eircode: D03 H523
1904 Valuation: l.
The house that Joyce lived in on Convent Avenue is hard to identify. It pops up in Richard Ellmann’s biography in a very simple, non-descriptive entry as quoted in relation to the four houses in Fairview above. It also appears in the list of addresses in Letters of James Joyce, Volume Two where it simply says,
1899 Convent Avenue, Fairview
It is not mentioned by Stanislaus or James Joyce anywhere that I can find. Stanislaus leaves one house out in his descriptions so perhaps this is the one. Tracking it down is difficult. Joyce’s friend Constantine Curran mentions John Joyce’s domestic movements in Fairview in James Joyce Remembered, published in 1968,
He passed from lodging to lodging, paying no bills, and dragging after him in his flight his hapless family. This was the position when Joyce was at college. One story I had of a time when they were at Fairview lodging with a frenchman called Bosinnet. The father and he collaborated in non-payment of rent but when forced to leave a house after some months Bosinnet, posing as landlord, would recommend Joyce senior as a most desirable, punctually paying tenant and John Stanislaus would enter into possession of the new premises with Bosinnet as his lodger and so on alternately.
This paragraph seems to morph into John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello, John Stanislaus Joyce (P. 221), writing about Convent Avenue in 1997.
John Stanislaus seemed to be trying to live in every house in north Dublin: Convent Avenue lasted only about six months. Presumably the reason they had to leave was the usual one: the rent was not being paid. John may have persuaded the landlord (who was, it seems, a Frenchman named Bosinnet) to issue receipts, However. One way or another, he secured 13 Richmond Avenue, around the corner.
We will come to Richmond Avenue next but in the meantime, there is Convent Avenue to be discovered.
In the 1900 Thom’s Directory there are only 3 houses, as well as the St. Vincent’s Lunatic Asylum listed on Convent Avenue. John Joyce does not appear in any of the houses and presumably and hopefully not, in the asylum.
Christopher Fox is listed as living at No. 1 Convent Avenue from 1898 through 1904. John Dowling, cab and car owner is listed at No. 2 Convent Avenue for the same period. So it is unlikely the Joyce’s lived at number 1 or number 2 Convent Avenue.
Mr. James Murphy is last listed at No. 3 in Thom’s Directory in 1900. This means that there was a change of resident between 1899 and 1900, the period in which the Joyce Family is said to have stayed in Convent Avenue. In Thom’s Directory of 1901 new residents are listed at Number 3, Mr. John McKay and Mr. T.P. Turkington. It could be that the Joyce family popped into 3 Convent Avenue between the tenancies of Mr. Murphy and Mr. McKay and Torkington.
As well as new residents the house has a new name, Rose Cottage. Rose Cottage was the name of the Joyce family home in Fermoy County Cork, where the father of John Stanislaus Joyce was born in 1827 and was subsequently the name of the house in Anglesea Street, the Cork City home of John Stanislaus Joyce.
Rose Cottage is at the end of Convent Avenue, to the west at the entrance gates of the Convent. Vivien Igoe thinks it likely that the house that the Joyce’s lived in, is the house on the corner with Richmond Road, for which the present address is 223 Richmond Road. If this is indeed the house that Joyce lived in, then technically the address is not on Convent Avenue at all, though the present front door is. Either way, it is not Rose Cottage.
Wyse Jackson and Costello in John Stanislaus Joyce are of the view that John Stanislaus Joyce (p. 216) worked at Thom’s Directory in and around 1898. If this is the case then perhaps he kept his name and address out of it and away from his creditors.
The reference to the French landlord Bosinnet is mysterious. I can find no reference to a Bosinnet in Thom’s Directories. Neither can I find one in the Census of 1901 and 1911 or records in the valuation office. I tried Griffiths Valuation online with a variety of spelling of Bosinnet for listings in Dublin City and Dublin County, to no avail. Perhaps Curran has misremembered or misspelt the name. The activities Bosinnet is credited with sound like those of the Ulsterman Hughes, who pops up at the next address. There was a Bonass family living in Richmond Road and perhaps this is the family that Curran was thinking of. The name is of French Hugenot origin. Henry Bonass was Chief Law Agent since 1896 and would have been known to John Stanislaus
Maybe none of this matters as in any event, at best the family stay in Convent Lane was short, and Joyce has not included it in his list of houses sent to Constantine Curran in 1937.
If I wanted to clutch at some straws I could posit that the house at Convent Lane is among all of those listed in the section above from Finnegans Wake. Joyce lists most of the houses from his time on the northside of Dublin in the list so it seems plausible he would have included Convent Lane and this is possibly a reference to the house at Convent Lane,
Converted to Hospitalism.
Convent Lane leads to Saint Vincent’s Hospital, formerly St. Vincent’s Lunatic Asylum (Female). The Hospital website, here, states that in former years it was the home of the Grose family. Perhaps Joyce knew of the conversion from a house to the hospital and this is what he means by Converted to Hospitalism. Neither Roland McHugh’s Annotations to Finnegans Wake or www.finwake.com have any detail on this phrase and I think I am stretching in positing this theory. It is from the grounds of this Saint Vincent’s Hospital that the mad nun is heard screeching in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Perhaps the Joyces never lived on Convent Avenue, but to quote an old cliché; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Let’s assume they lived on Convent Avenue and there is more research to be done to find the exact detils. If so, in the autumn of 1899, the Joyce’s moved for the tenth time, to 13 Richmond Avenue, some 250m away, their shortest move to date. I have spent a long time researching Convent Lane, without definitive conclusions, so I am glad to move on, as I am sure, are you.
Con and I cycle up and down Convent Avenue, before turning back onto Richmond Road to go to the next street to the east, Richmond Avenue.
House 11: 13 Richmond Avenue, Fairview, Dublin. Autumn 1899 – May 1900
Present Address: 10 Richmond Avenue, Dublin 3.
Eircode: D03 X6V6
1904 Valuation: 28l.
I thought my research on Convent Lane was convoluted but finding the house on Richmond Avenue was by far the hardest task, taking months, whilst the overall cycle itself took hours. The avenue is straight, but my research journey took many twists and turns. I ended up down several rabbit holes that I was not anticipating. Whilst Joyce’s residential history is mostly well known, with Richmond Avenue there was a lot to discover.
Joyce lived at 13 Richmond Avenue. As it happens the Joyce family also lived at 13 North Richmond Street. Neither address brought them much luck.
Richmond Avenue does not appear in the list in Finnegans Wake, nor does it appear in the list of addresses given by Paul León to Constantine Curran in his letter of June 2nd 1937. Although Joyce may have forgotten his time here, he wrote from 13 Richmond Avenue Fairview to William Archer on 28 April 1900, thanking him for his kindness in relation to correspondences with the playwright Henrik Ibsen.
Knowing that James Joyce definitely lived here and knowing the address was hugely helpful.
Stanislaus does not name the house or the address, but he does describe the house,
By the time my brother was inscribed as a matriculation student of the Royal University of Ireland, at University College, an affiliated Jesuit institution, we had moved again to a house with many spacious rooms, gates, and a garden, or rather a neglected field, large enough for me and my school-friends to play football in, five or six to a side. It was a ramshackle building in bad repair, but I should have been glad if we could have stayed there. My father entered as lodger, occupying about half the house, while a big, lumbering Ulsterman occupied the other half with his wife and child. The relaxing Dublin climate must have sapped the native energy of this man from Belfast, for he was as improvident as my father himself, so that our residence together, though quite amicable, was brief; poverty and a ruthless landlord put an abrupt end to this attempt at house-sharing under a slightly faded orange and green flag.
R. E Hughes esq. is listed at 13 Richmond Avenue in Thom’s Directory of 1898, 1899 and 1900, the property is listed as vacant in 1897 and 1901. Hughes must be the lumbering Ulsterman that Stanislaus describes. The Joyce and Hughes families must have got on as they moved together to the next property, the short distance to the north in Royal Terrace, where they can be found in the Census of 1901.
The census of 1901 lists the west side of the Richmond Avenue as being in Drumcondra and the east side in Clontart West. The house numbers changed dramatically over the years and I had to track Thom’s Directory from 1846 to 2012, as well as the earlier Almanack’s from 1800 and Pettigrew & Oulton’s Dublin Almanac’s from 1834 to 1846 to try and find out where the 13 Richmond Avenue of 1899 was located in 2019.
The Valuations Office has books of records for Dublin. In the Drumcondra 1895-1902 Book 1, Richmond Avenue (West Side) is listed as being in the Townland of Richmond, in the Barony of Coolock, in the Parish of Clonturk, in the Union of North Dublin and lastly in the Electoral Division of Drumcondra. It all reminds me of Stephen’s address in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,
Class of Elements
Clongowes Wood College
At 28l, number 13 had the highest valuation for a house on the street, so that was a significant clue as to its size.
Michael Butler is listed at this address in Thom’s Directory immediately after R.E. Hughes left, occupying it until Thom’s Directory of 1913 when William Clarke, Building Contractor moved in. Clarke occupied it until 1952, including when it changed from number 13 to number 10 when the entire avenue was renumbered when it was incorporated into Dublin City. In Thom’s Directory of 1952 lists a change to Hodgins Limited Building contractor.
Despite the fact that most commentators state that the house Joyce lived in on Richmond Avenue has been destroyed, number 10 Richmond Avenue is still there and this house was formerly number 13 Richmond Avenue. Interestingly very late in the writing of this blog post, I read Patricia Hutchins, James Joyce’s Dublin, which was published in 1950. Like me, she seems to be a great fan of reading Thom’s Directories and she is also of the view that Joyce lived in what is now 10 Richmond Avenue.
Although the family were also at 32 Glengarriff Parade during this period the house described in such detail in StephenHero, was probably 10 Richmond Avenue. At the time there were six acres of grounds; woods through which a stream ran, and one of Joyce’s sisters can remember running about there.
The property has been remodelled, but much of it still stands, including the main central section of the house at number 10. 8a used to more or less mirror number 8. There is a reprofiled roof with an attic roof and the facade has recently been altered, even since the Google Street images were taken. If you look at both Google Earth and Google Street View you can look at the property in three dimensions. You can do likewise with Apple Maps. Like much of the avenue the property is not in great shape.
Unlike North Richmond Street, I cannot find any direct reference to Richmond Avenue in Joyce’s writing. I thought it would appear in the list in Finnegans Wake, but if it is in there I cannot identify it. The stays at Convent Lane and Richmond Avenue were brief and forgotten by Joyce. Presumably, this is why they do not appear in his writing in any meaningful way.
Joyce was not the only interesting person to have lived on Richmond Avenue as I found out when I went through over a century of Thom’s Directories.
Edward Hely lived at 11 Richmond Avenue and is listed in Thom’s Directories of 1852 to 1859. He was part of the Hely Stationers, immortalised in Ulysses. The Company still exists, though on the Greenhills Road in Walkinstown. Joyce has Leopold Bloom staring work in Wisdom Hely’s, in Dame Street, the year he married Molly Bloom, getting laid off from there as well as all the other places as Molly states,
every time were just getting on right something happens and he puts his big foot in it in Thoms and Helys and Mr Cuffes and Drimmies either hes going to be run into prison over his old lottery tickets that was to be all our salvations or he goes and gives impudence well have him coming home with the sack soon
James Joyce moved to 13 Richmond Avenue in 1899. Some years earlier, on the 18th July 1874, Charles William St.John Burgess was born in the same house. Like Joyce, he went on to study in Belvedere College and the Medical School in Cecilia Street, where owing to his families financial details he withdrew from his studies, as his biographer Fergus O’Farrell notes,
Charles left Belvedere in 1890 and, according to Tomás Ó Dochartaigh, enrolled in a pre-medical course in Cecila Street where he obtained a 1.1. in his first year. However, it seems that, due to his family’s ongoing financial difficulties, he terminated his education and began working with Hayes and Finch, an English-owned company that dealt in religious goods.
Few people know who Charles William St.John Burgess was. In 1908 he changed his name to Cathal Brugha and joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Cathal Brugha was to die in the Civil War on July 7th 1922, a few months after Ulysses was published. The lives of James Joyce and Cathal Brugha almost intersect, just like the streets named after them in the north inner city.
Joyce didn’t stay long at Richmond Avenue. In May 1900 at the age of 18, he moved with his family some 180m north, through the laneway to Royal Terrace, bringing the Hughes family with him. You can walk, or wheel a bicycle through as I do. As we do we pass 31 Richmond Avenue on our left.
I thought I had left Richmond Avenue behind but as I read Thom’s Directories the list of interesting people who lived and stayed in this house, formerly 10 Richmond Avenue increased. The connections between these two houses at 10 and 13 Richmond Avenue, the people who lived in them, their roles in creating the modern Irish State is fascinating.
It was from this house at 10 Richmond Avenue that Thomas Clarke left, travelling in the opposite direction that I am travelling, towards the GPO in O’Connell Street to take part in the Easter Rising in 1916. He was never to return to this, his family home.
In October 1914 he sold the Amiens Street shop and moved his family to Richmond Avenue in the middle-class inner suburb of Fairview. There he rented the street’s most desirable residence, a detached double-fronted early nineteenth-century house that was spacious and comfortable with rooms to spare and a garden where Tom could relax and take breakfast.
The Richmond Avenue house also accommodated Kathleen’s only brother, 24-year-old Ned Daly.
Tom Clarke and his brother in law Ned Daly, the brother of his wife, Kathleen Clarke, both residents of 10 Richmond Avenue, were executed after the Easter Rising. They were the oldest and youngest of the rebels to be executed. It is possible that Joyce knew of Thomas Clarke. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man he writes,
The Irish fellows in Clarke’s gave them all a feed last night. They all ate curry.
This passage refers to students celebrating their exams. Chester Anderson in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Text, Criticism, and Notes, (p. 482, 535) spoke with Alf MacLochlainn, Keeper of Manuscripts in the National Library of Ireland in the summer of 1964, who suggested that this quote might refer to meetings in Tom Clarke’s shop in Great Britain Street. This seems possible but unlikely. Clarke did not return from America until 1908 when he opened his first shop at 55 Amiens Street on the 14th February, opening another at 75a Parnell Street, formerly Great Britain Street, a year later. As Joyce left Ireland in 1904 it is unlikely he ever met Clarke.
Thom’s Directory lists T.J. Clarke at 10 Richmond Avenue in 1916. William A. Mambrum is listed in Thom’s Directory at 10 Richmond Avenue in 1917 and 1918. He is also listed in the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Traders section but no information is given as to what he which of these he might be.
In 1919 when house number 10 has changed to 31 Richmond Avenue, P.S. Hegarty is listed as the resident in Thom’s Directory. The P.S. Hegarty listed is, in fact, P.S. O’Hegarty, who was commonly known as Sarsfield. He was a classmate of Terence McSwiney, in the North Monastery in Cork. He moved to Dublin and like Thomas Clarke, he managed a shop, The Irish Bookshop at 45 Dawson Street.
Tom Clarke in a letter to his wife Kathleen on April 11th 1908, described O’Hegarty,
O’Hegarty you will best know as “Sarsfield” who wrote for the Republic and sometimes for the old United Irishman — the most dilapidated and careless-looking fellow you’d see — never dream there was anything in him.
O’Hegarty wrote the introduction to Tom Clarke’s Glimpses of an Irish Felon’s Prison Life. P. S. O’Hegarty is listed at 31 Richmond Avenue for a single year. In 1920 Thom’s Directory lists Mrs. T. J. Clarke, Tom Clarke’s widow at 31 Richmond Avenue and she remains listed here until Thom’s Directory of 1928 when the property is listed as let in flats. Kathleen Clarke welcomed many patriots to the house.
On the morning of 18 September 1915, Seán MacDermott was due for release from Mountjoy Prison. A number of friends collected outside the prison gate to greet him. Tom and I were there, and took him home to Richmond Avenue. It was a glorious sunny morning, so we had breakfast in the garden, a thing Tom loved. Basking in the sunshine, Sean was thrilled with his freedom, the song of the birds, the peace of the garden and the beauty of the morning.
In 1918 Kathleen Clarke was arrested in Richmond Avenue by two G-Men and was taken to Holloway Prison where she spent time with Constance Markievicz and Maud Gonne MacBride. Kathleen Clarke and Constance Markievicz made a very unlikely and decidedly odd couple in prison. In her biography Revolutionary Woman, Kathleen Clarke describes their relationship,
When Madame Markievicz did talk to me in those early days, I sensed a certain amount of patronage in her tone and manner, and that I was not prepared to take from anybody. It appeared to worry her that such an insignificant person as myself was put in prison with her. Again and again she said to me, ‘Why on earth did they arrest such a quiet, insignificant person as you are?
The trio were joined in prison by Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, a childhood friend of James Joyce and widow of his University friend Francis Sheehy-Skeffington who was murdered by a British Officer during the rising. Hanna’s sister Mary married another University friend of Joyce’s Tom Kettle, who was killed in France in the Great War.
When Constance Markievicz was released, she picked up living with Kathleen Clarke in Richmond Avenue as she had in prison,
She engaged a maid for me, and lived in my home until my return from Limerick. Then she told me she would like to stay on with me, and I agreed.
In 1918 Countess Markievicz was to be the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons and Kathleen Clake was to become the first female Lord Mayor of Dublin in June 1939. Joyce had several connections with Lord Mayors of Irish cities.
Joyce wrote a poem about the Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney, The Right Heart in the Wrong Place, on a postcard to his brother Stanislaus on 27th August 1920, when MacSwiney was in the latter stages of his hunger strike,
The Right Heart in the Wrong Place
Of spinach and gammon
Bull’s full to the crupper,
White lice and black famine
Are the mayor of Cork’s supper
But the pride of Old Ireland
Must be damnably humbled
If a Joyce is found cleaning
The boots of a Rumbold
Terence James MacSwiney on the baptismal register, but Terry always to his friends and to Cork generally, was born in Cork City on March 28th, 1879, and was baptized at the Church of SS, Peter and Paul.
The church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, where Terence MacSwiney was baptised is located just off and to the north of Patrick’s Street in the centre of Cork City and is where James Joyce’s paternal grandparents, James Augustine Joyce and Ellen O’Connell, were married on February 28th, 1848. You can read my blog post about Joyce and his Cork heritage, Stephen was once again seated beside his father, here.
Peter Paul McSwiney, who owned Clerys Department Store, was Lord Mayor of Dublin. He was a relative of Daniel O’Connell’s and was a first cousin of John Stanislas Joyce mother, Ellen O’Connell. Clerys is on O’Connell Street and is mentioned in Ulysses. Joyce was also a good friend in University with George Clancy, later the Mayor of Limerick who was murdered by the Auxiliaries in 1921. He forms the basis of the character Davin in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. John Stanislaus was friendly with Tim Harrington, another Corkman who was Lord Mayor of Dublin between 1901 and 1904, and who wrote a letter of introduction for James Joyce for his travels in Europe. In return finds him a position in Ulysses.
When Terence MacSwiney died, Oliver St. John Gogarty organised his death mask.
On the night of October 25th, 1920, Gogarty woke Albert Power, the sculptor, out of bed and made him catch the early boat to London, to sculpt MacSwiney’s death-mask. Gogarty paid fro both the journey and the execution of the mask.
P.S. O’Hegarty wrote the short memoir of his friend Terence MacSwiney in 1920 and it was first published in 1922, the same year as Ulysses. As well as his connections to O’Hegarty who lived in 10 Richmond Avenue, Terence MacSwiney had connections to Cathal Brugha who was born in 13 Richmond Avenue.
Terence MacSwiney was a friend of Cathal Brugha’s and wrote to him on the 30th September 1920,
Ah Cathal, the pain of Easter Week is properly dead at last.
I wish I could say all that’s in my heart to thank you for your beautiful letters. God guard and preserve you for the future. God bless you again and again and God give you and yours long years of happiness under the glorious Republic.
With all a comrade’s love, God bless you.
Not only were Terence MacSwiney and Cathal Brugha friends and comrades, their children, Maire MacSwiney and Ruairí Brugha married each other in Cork in July 1945.
It turns out there was a lot more in Mac Swiney’s friend, P.S. O’Hegarty, than Tom Clarke supposed, for as well as a biography of MacSwiney he also wrote one of the first favourable reviews of Ulysses in Ireland. The review was published in The Separatist in September 1922. O’Hegarty also admired Yeats, and his daughter Gráinne Ni hEigeartaigh married Yeats son, Michael. P.S. O’Hegarty did not just review Joyce’s Ulysses, he supported it,
He hailed Joyce’s Ulysses an instant masterpiece in defiance of the literary authorities who denounced it as immoral. Indeed, it must have been galling for a lover of great literature and an avid collector of books such as O’Hegarty to witness how Joyce felt unable to attend a literary conference in Dublin for fear of assassination. O’Hegarty supplied copies of the book during the 1930s to the publisher Quentin Keynes In America where it was banned and remained so until the 1950s.
I quote part of the review here,
I make the assertion, after reading this, that Mr Joyce loves Ireland, especially Dublin. I do not mean that it does it politically, or in any “wrap-the-green-flag” sense. But Ireland is all through him, and in him, and of him; and Dublin, its streets and its buildings and its people, he loves with the wholehearted affection of the artist. They are to him life and love and material. Every street in Dublin he knows and remembers, and every house, and every building, highways and byeways, palaces and hovels. He may live out of Dublin, but he will never get away from it.
I have copied out the review in full and if you would like to read it you can click here.
As well as the patriots listed above in connection with Richmond Avenue, James Joyce had well-known connections to Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin. I had not realised Joyce’s connections to numerous patriots all trying to create a new Ireland. Joyce chose an alternative path, one that I hope to return to.
Dublin was a small town and it seems that everyone knew everyone. For the moment we cycle on trying to find what edge of Dublin the city the elusive John Stanislaus Joyce has hidden away in.
House 12: 8 Royal Terrace, Fairview, Dublin. May 1900 – Late 1901
Present Address: 8 Inverness Road, Dublin 3.
Eircode: D03 WC60
1904 Valuation: 19l.
The Joyce and Hughes families moved to 8 Royal Terrace in May 1900. The Terrace was renamed Inverness Road after the Joyce family left. Names of roads and streets in Dublin and the changes, particularly after 1916 are complicated.
There is no reference to Inverness Road in the 1903 Thom’s Directory. In 1904 the former Rutland-place, Houses 1-8, become Inverness Road numbers 17-24, which are listed as a subset of Royal Terrace. In the 1917 Thom’s Directory houses 1-24 are all listed as Royal Terrace, Inverness Road. 1947 is the first year that Inverness Road appears as a full listing in Thom’s Directory, in the intervening years a search for Inverness Road will state, see Royal Terrace.
Joyce, John, Mr. 8 Royal-terrace, Off Philipsburgh avenue, Clontarf and Dollymount portion of Fairview is listed in the 1901 Thom’s Directory.
Mrs. Annie Talbot is listed at 8 Royal Terrace in Thom’s Directory 1900. The property is listed as vacant in Thom’s Directory 1902. Once again the Joyce stay was short, but memorable.
Having not been listed in the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Traders section for the last six years Joyce, John Mr.reappears at 8 Royal-terrace for the next four, 1901, 1902, 1903 and 1904.
Joyce references the house at Royal Terrace in Finnegans Wake,
8 Royal Terrors. None so strait. Shutter up.
This quote from the list in Finnegans Wake is straightforward as is the reference to Shutter up, which as well as referencing the process of leaving each house, references the incident mentioned in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, with the woman screeching behind the wall in the land behind Royal Terrace. He loved a good pun did Joyce.
The lane behind the terrace was waterlogged and as he went down it slowly, choosing his steps amid heaps of wet rubbish, he heard a mad nun screeching in the nuns’ madhouse beyond the wall:
—Jesus! O Jesus! Jesus!
The Joyce family stayed the night of Sunday 31st March 1901. You can see the census details on the National Archives website here. The ages of the children, the oldest being James at 19, are listed as 19, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, and 9. Not listed are May Joyce’s first born and two miscarriages. The list of children and short timespan between their births gives some idea of the physical strain that would have affected May Joyce’s body, never mind the mental anguish of providing for all of ten children in diminished circumstances.
As well as all of the Joyce’s, Robert E. Hughes, previously of Richmond Avenue. and his wife Rebecca E. Hughes and daughter Gertrude E. Hughes are also listed as living in the house at 8 Royal Terrace. You can see the details here. Who knows what the middle initial E. stood for, but they were all listed as Episcopalians.
There are a few interesting things to note on the census form. James and Stanislaus are listed as being the only members of the family able to speak Irish. Only the last child, Mabel was born in the City of Dublin, giving a direct indication of how John Stanislaus liked to live on the edge of town.
Soon the family were on the move again. Stanislaus describes the process,
During this time, we had moved once more. My father’s method, whenever a landlord could not put up with him any longer and wanted to get rid of him, was to go to the landlord and say that it would be impossible for him with his rent in arrears to find a new house, and that it was indispensable that he should be able to show the receipts for the last few months’ rent of the house he was living in. Then the landlord, to get a bad tenant off his hands, would give him receipts for the unpaid rent of a few months, and with these my father would be able to inveigle some other landlord into letting him a house. In these auspicious circumstances we moved into a smaller house in a poorer neighbourhood.
The next move took the Joyce family quite a distance from the cluster of houses by the Tolka, this time 2.5 km to the west, beside the Royal Canal.
House 13: 32 Glengarriff Parade, Dublin. Late 1901 – October 1902
Present Address: 10 Glengarriff Parade, Dublin 7.
Eircode: D07 NW82
1904 Valuation: 14l.
Glengarriff Parade is a narrow street running east-west from the North Circular Road to the Royal Canal. It backs onto Mountjoy Prison. As Stanislaus Joyce wrote,
Glengariff Parade was in a depressing neighbourhood.
Stanislaus Joyce, My Brother’s Keeper, James Joyce’s Early Years. (p. 123).
Joyce, Mr. John is listed as living at Glengariff-parade in the Thom’s Directory of 1903. He is really spreading himself around as he is also listed at 8 Royal Terrace and 7 St. Peter’s Terrace. He is never listed in the Nobility, Gentry Merchants and Traders section at this address.
When Joyce lived in Glengarriff Parade the house was number 32. The street was renumbered and the house is now number 10. Karl Whitney writes amusingly about the renumbering in the Chapter James Joyce Lived Here in his entertaining book, Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin. He travels to all of the same houses, but by public transport instead of by bicycle. Not only does the number on the house change but the spelling of Glengarriff varies, with different numbers of the letters r and f used by different people, including me.
I am again amused by the what3words reference, trades.villa.noble, the story of the Joyce moves in three simple words.
Brief as our residence at each of our numerous addresses was, it was still long enough in most cases to be marked by a death in our family. At Millbourne Lane the boy Frederick died in the first weeks of his infancy. At Windsor Avenue another male infant came stillborn into the world, and while downstairs my father was, as usual, assuring the sober friend who had brought him home for the occasion, ‘By God, he’s not dead yet’, upstairs his last-born child was dead already. But at least these infants may be supposed not to have suffered. At Glengariff Parade, the youngest surviving son, Georgie, so named because he was born on the fourth of July, died of peritonitis following typhoid fever, in his fourteenth year, at the age when life, whatever it may be, is sweet to all.
James Joyce’s young brother George died in the house at Glengarriff Parade on 3rd May 1902, at the age of 14. In Stephen Hero, the death is fictionalised as that of Stephen Daedalus’s young sister Isabel. Joyce also wrote some epiphanies in relation to George, but this house is largely ignored in his published works. You can read about the epiphanies on the James Joyce Centre website, here.
Stephen was present in the room when his sister died. As soon as her mother had been alarmed the priest was sent for. He was a diminutive man who carried his head mostly on his right shoulder and spoke in a lisping voice which was not very easily heard. He heard the girl’s confession and went away saying “Leave it to God: He knows best: leave it to God.”
The death of George does not get dramatised in any of Joyce’s major published works and the house is not named in the list in Finnegans Wake. Perhaps it was too traumatic for Joyce to recreate the scene and his memories of the house were not happy ones. George died of peritonitis, which Joyce himself was later to die from. Tragic as the death of his brother George was in this house, his mother May was to die in the next, his last one.
In October 1902, James Joyce made this last house move with his family, moving 800m due west to 7 St. Peter’s Terrace.
House 14: 7 St. Peter’s Terrace, Cabra, Dublin. October 1902 – December 1902
Present Address: 5 St. Peter’s Road, Dublin 7.
Eircode: D07 YK49
1904 Valuation: 20l.
This was the last Joyce Family home that James Joyce lived in.
As Stanislaus Joyce says,
Still another flitting, not the last, but the last that Jim took part in, deposited us at 7 St. Peter’s Terrace, Cabra—which in Irish means something like barren or blighted land.
This is also the last house that we cycle to, though we still have to cycle home. A hundred yards to the north is Dalymount Park, home of Bohemians Football Club. I am feeling pleased about the length of our cycle before I realise that Oliver St. John Gogarty would cycle to here from school at Clongowes Wood, play a game of football and cycle back again. It is about the same distance overall, but he cycled on an old bicycle and played the game of football in between.
Joyce, Mr John is listed in the residential section of the street directory at 7 St. Peter’s terrace, Off Cabra-road, Phibsborough in the 1903, 1904 and 1905 Thom’s Directories.
In the 1904 Thom’s Directory, Joyce, John, Mr. is again listed twice in the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Traders, in both 7 St. Peter’s ter. Phibsborough and 8 Royal terrace, Clontarf. In 1905 the last time he appears in this section it is at his house at 7 St. Peter’s Terrace.
The house number has been changed as has the name of the road. Joyce and others referred to the house as being in Cabra, today it would more commonly be referred to as being in Phibsborough. After James left, John Joyce remained with the dwindling family members for a few years before moving on.
In the 1911 Census of Ireland, John Stanislaus Joyce, Civil Service Pensioner is listed as living in 20 Sackville Place with his daughters Florence and Mabel Anna, boarding in a house with 12 others. You can see the return here.
James Joyce left for France from this house in December 1902, returning when his mother became ill. He returned to Saint Peter’s Terrace in April 1903 before leaving in December 1903 for 60 Shelbourne Road on the south side of the city. He lived in a succession of houses for brief periods before leaving permanently for the Continent with Nora Barnacle in October 1904.
It was not a happy home as never cheerful Stanislaus Joyce writes,
I call 7 S. Peter’s Terrace, Cabra, ‘Bleak House’.
Joyce mentions the house in his list in Finnegans Wake and also in Ulysses,
7 Streetpetres. Since Cabranke.
In Ulysses, Stephen thinks of,
of his sister Dilly (Delia) in his father’s house in Cabra.
This is the third family member that Stephen has thought of in houses that James Joyce lived in, each one kneeling and kindling fires for him.
Despite the increasing poverty of life as he and his family made their way to Cabra, it was the source of one of his great poems, written before he left Ireland in 1904.
He travels after a winter sun,
Urging the cattle along a cold red road,
Calling to them, a voice they know,
He drives his beasts above Cabra.
The voice tells them home is warm.
They moo and make brute music with their hoofs.
He drives them with a flowering branch before him,
Smoke pluming their foreheads.
Boor, bond of the herd,
Tonight stretch full by the fire!
I bleed by the black stream
For my torn bough!
Travelling to each of these houses in succession, the decline in the Joyce family standing is quite evident. Much of the references above relate to Stephen Dedalus and the poverty of his surroundings together with biographical commentaries from Joyce family members about the decline in circumstances. It is one thing to read it, quite another to experience it as we have on our cycle.
The houses his family lived in meant a great deal to Joyce. He mentions the ones he lived in, but he also references others such as Ontario Terrace overlooking the Grand Canal where his parents lived and his mother gave birth for the first time. He brings the experiences of his houses and their environs with him, in the way he carried the family portraits with him as he travelled through Europe, accompanied as he was by his ever-present piece of Ireland, Nora Barnacle.
Much as James Joyce described the reality of his residential experiences in Dublin he leaves it to Bloom in Ulysses to expound and idealise the family home,
In what ultimate ambition had all concurrent and consecutive ambitions now coalesced?
Not to inherit by right of primogeniture, gavelkind or borough English, or possess in perpetuity an extensive demesne of a sufficient number of acres, roods and perches, statute land measure (valuation £42), of grazing turbary surrounding a baronial hall with gatelodge and carriage drive nor, on the other hand, a terracehouse or semidetached villa, described as Rus in Urbe or Qui si sana, but to purchase by private treaty in fee simple a thatched bungalowshaped 2 storey dwellinghouse of southerly aspect, surmounted by vane and lightning conductor, connected with the earth, with porch covered by parasitic plants (ivy or Virginia creeper), halldoor, olive green, with smart carriage finish and neat doorbrasses, stucco front with gilt tracery at eaves and gable, rising, if possible, upon a gentle eminence with agreeable prospect from balcony with stone pillar parapet over unoccupied and unoccupyable interjacent pastures and standing in 5 or 6 acres of its own ground, at such a distance from the nearest public thoroughfare as to render its houselights visible at night above and through a quickset hornbeam hedge of topiary cutting, situate at a given point not less than 1 statute mile from the periphery of the metropolis, within a time limit of not more than 15 minutes from tram or train line (e.g., Dundrum, south, or Sutton, north, both localities equally reported by trial to resemble the terrestrial poles in being favourable climates for phthisical subjects), the premises to be held under feefarm grant, lease 999 years, the messuage to consist of 1 drawingroom with baywindow (2 lancets), thermometer affixed, 1 sittingroom, 4 bedrooms, 2 servants’ rooms, tiled kitchen with close range and scullery, lounge hall fitted with linen wallpresses, fumed oak sectional bookcase containing the Encyclopaedia Britannica and New Century Dictionary, transverse obsolete medieval and oriental weapons, dinner gong, alabaster lamp, bowl pendant, vulcanite automatic telephone receiver with adjacent directory, handtufted Axminster carpet with cream ground and trellis border, loo table with pillar and claw legs, hearth with massive firebrasses and ormolu mantel chronometer clock, guaranteed timekeeper with cathedral chime, barometer with hygrographic chart, comfortable lounge settees and corner fitments, upholstered in ruby plush with good springing and sunk centre, three banner Japanese screen and cuspidors (club style, rich winecoloured leather, gloss renewable with a minimum of labour by use of linseed oil and vinegar) and pyramidically prismatic central chandelier lustre, bentwood perch with fingertame parrot (expurgated language), embossed mural paper at 10/- per dozen with transverse swags of carmine floral design and top crown frieze, staircase, three continuous flights at successive right angles, of varnished cleargrained oak, treads and risers, newel, balusters and handrail, with steppedup panel dado, dressed with camphorated wax: bathroom, hot and cold supply, reclining and shower: water closet on mezzanine provided with opaque singlepane oblong window, tipup seat, bracket lamp, brass tierod and brace, armrests, footstool and artistic oleograph on inner face of door: ditto, plain: servants’ apartments with separate sanitary and hygienic necessaries for cook, general and betweenmaid (salary, rising by biennial unearned increments of £2, with comprehensive fidelity insurance, annual bonus (£1) and retiring allowance (based on the 65 system) after 30 years’ service), pantry, buttery, larder, refrigerator, outoffices, coal and wood cellarage with winebin (still and sparkling vintages) for distinguished guests, if entertained to dinner (evening dress), carbon monoxide gas supply throughout.
What additional attractions might the grounds contain?
As addenda, a tennis and fives court, a shrubbery, a glass summerhouse with tropical palms, equipped in the best botanical manner, a rockery with waterspray, a beehive arranged on humane principles, oval flowerbeds in rectangular grassplots set with eccentric ellipses of scarlet and chrome tulips, blue scillas, crocuses, polyanthus, sweet William, sweet pea, lily of the valley (bulbs obtainable from sir James W. Mackey (Limited) wholesale and retail seed and bulb merchants and nurserymen, agents for chemical manures, 23 Sackville street, upper), an orchard, kitchen garden and vinery protected against illegal trespassers by glasstopped mural enclosures, a lumbershed with padlock for various inventoried implements.
Eeltraps, lobsterpots, fishingrods, hatchet, steelyard, grindstone, clodcrusher, swatheturner, carriagesack, telescope ladder, 10 tooth rake, washing clogs, haytedder, tumbling rake, billhook, paintpot, brush, hoe and so on.
What improvements might be subsequently introduced?
A rabbitry and fowlrun, a dovecote, a botanical conservatory, 2 hammocks (lady’s and gentleman’s), a sundial shaded and sheltered by laburnum or lilac trees, an exotically harmonically accorded Japanese tinkle gatebell affixed to left lateral gatepost, a capacious waterbutt, a lawnmower with side delivery and grassbox, a lawnsprinkler with hydraulic hose.
What facilities of transit were desirable?
When citybound frequent connection by train or tram from their respective intermediate station or terminal. When countrybound velocipedes, a chainless freewheel roadster cycle with side basketcar attached, or draught conveyance, a donkey with wicker trap or smart phaeton with good working solidungular cob (roan gelding, 14 h).
What might be the name of this erigible or erected residence?
Bloom Cottage. Saint Leopold’s. Flowerville.
In April 1904, eight months after the death of his Mother May, James Joyce left the depleted Joyce family home for good. He returned for brief periods to stay with his father, notably in Fontenoy Street, but he was never again to live in the family home. He had made a new family with Nora Barnacle, and the continent of Europe was where they would live.
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Foy, M.T. (2014) Tom Clarke: The True Leader of the Easter Rising. Dublin, Ireland: The History Press Ireland.
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O’Connor, U. (2000) Oliver St John Gogarty. Dublin, Ireland: O’Brien Press Ltd.
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Igoe, V. (2016) The Real People of Joyce’s Ulysses: A Biographical Guide. Dublin, Ireland: University College Dublin Press.
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MacSwiney Brugha, M. (2006) History’s Daughter: A Memoir from the only child of Terence MacSwiney. Dublin, Ireland: O’Brien Press.
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There is a more extended bibliography of background material here.
There is a longer bibliography of background material here.
You can see more of my research output on the Technological University Dublin repository Arrow, here.
Eugene Roche and the staff at The Special Collections, James Joyce Library, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
The Berkely Library, The Library of Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2.
Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections, The Old Library, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2.
Richview Library, Richview, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
The staff at The Valuation Office, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1, Ireland.
On the cycle: Con Kennedy
For the bicycle: Paul Sexton
You can look at this route on Map My Run here.
You can download a GPX or KML file of the route from Map My Run.