The first edition of Joyce's first fiction


London: Grant Richards Ltd, [1914].

Price: $25,000.00

About the item

First edition, one of 746 bound for Richards (1250 copies printed). 278 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. The first edition of Joyce's first fiction. Original dark red cloth, gilt stamped lettering on the spine and front cover, some light fading to spine, with slightest rubbing along top edge, front cover with some bubbling; marks to endpapers from former protective cover, bookplate on front pastedown, slight cracking to text block at p. 144. Slocum and Cahoon A8.

Item #365353

The rocky publishing history of Dubliners is well known: finished in 1905, it was rejected by 15 publishers before Grant Richards accepted it. Richards' printers refused to set some of the type – inaugurating Joyce's lifelong struggle with censorship – and Joyce refused most of Richards' changes. It was then taken up by Maunsel & Roberts of Dublin, who eventually came to a similar conclusion. Maunsel even burned all but one of the copies of the sheets, which Joyce managed to wheedle out of him, and it was given back to Richards, who set the type from the lone Maunsel sheet saved from the flames. Joyce subsequently added "A Little Cloud" and "The Dead" – possibly his most famous single story – to the collection.