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Ulysses
Paris: Shakespeare & Co.,, 1922. Quarto. Original blue and white wrappers. Pale offsetting on half-title, inscription slightly bled, old glue remains beneath inscription presumably where bookplate removed, some small losses at ends of spine, larger along the lower rear joint, a few small nicks to edges, but an unsophisticated copy. First edition, first issue, one of 100 copies on Dutch handmade paper, this copy number 41, signed by Joyce on the limitation page. A fine association copy, owned by the novelist and editor Bryher who helped finance and support numerous other publishers, including Sylvia Beach. She also gave financial support to writers, including Joyce and Edith Sitwell, and counted among her circle of friends Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway and Berenice Abbott. Provenance: Annie Winifred Ellerman (1894?-1983, remnants of bookplate), known as Bryher, novelist, poet, magazine editor, and companion to the poet Hilda Doolittle (H.D.). She and her husband at the time, Robert McAlmon, befriended Joyce in Paris in 1921 and helped finance publication of Ulysses, McAlmon also serving as Joyce's typist for sections of the manuscript. The bookplate was designed by George Plank (1883?-1965) using an Icelandic theme. Bryher travelled several times to Iceland, first in 1929, accompanied by H.D. and their friend Robert Herring, editor of a literary journal Bryher financed in the 1930s and 1940s, Life and Letters Today. His pencil initials also appear on the flyleaf. The bookplate was partially torn out by H.D. during a nervous breakdown in 1946, when she and Bryher were living at Lowndes Square, London; thence by descent to the present owner. The impact of Joyce's Ulysses was revolutionary in its own time, and the book continues to stand as the single most significant English language novel of the last century. The complexities of its formal structure, its linguistic inventiveness and its imaginative cohesion of historical sources have made Ulysses the most diligently studied work of modern literature in English. Cyril Connolly, while criticizing Joyce's "preference for language rather than people," nevertheless could not reject the novel's immense intellectual weight: "somehow it does achieve greatness like a ruined temple soaring from a jungle ?- and should be judged perhaps as a poem, a festival of the imagination." The first edition of Ulysses was divided into three issues, in imitation of French practice. The first 100 copies on Dutch paper were signed by Joyce; the second 150 copies were in large paper format, though on a lesser grade of paper, and unsigned; the remaining 750 copies were on smaller and least expensive stock of paper, again unsigned. The various issues did not arrive at Sylvia Beach's bookshop in strict order, and Sylvia Beach's notebook recording copies sold up to 1 July 1922 does not list this copy as sold by that date.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-07-07           Check availability:      Biblio    

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