Wednesday, 31 October 2012

James Joyce Tower & Museum, Sandycove

Reproduction of James Joyce's room and bed
James Joyce Tower & Museum, Sandycove

The James Joyce Tower & Museum in Sandycove is housed in one of the Martello towers built during the Napoleonic wars as a defence against a French invasion. It later became a residence, and for a single week in September 1904, James Joyce shared the tower with Oliver St. John Gogarty. The brief stay was later immortalised in the opening chapter of Ulysses, though for the purpose of the story Joyce re-dated the period to June.

Joyce's week in the Tower was marked by a dramatic incident. Gogarty had been lending money to Joyce all year, and on the morning of 15 September 1904 there was, according to Gogarty, some horseplay involving a gun, which sent Joyce fleeing for his life, and thence into his self-imposed exile from Ireland.

Included in the Museum are letters, photographs and rare book editions, in addition to a reproduction of the room in which Joyce slept and in which the gun incident apparently occurred.

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