James Joyce (1882 – 1941) is one of Ireland’s most influential and celebrated writers. His most famous work is Ulysses (1922) which follows the movements of Leopold Bloom through a single day on June 16th, 1904. Some of Joyce’s other major works include the short story collection Dubliners (1914), and novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939).
Joyce was born in Dublin on 2nd February 1882 at 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland. Joyce’s father was John Stanislaus Joyce and his mother was Mary Jane “May” (née Murray). He was the eldest of 10 children.
He attended school in Clongowes Wood College and Belvedere College (just up the road from the Centre) before going on to University College, then located on St Stephen’s Green, where he studied modern languages.
After graduating from university, Joyce went to Paris, ostensibly to study medicine, and was recalled to Dublin in April 1903 because of the illness and subsequent death of his mother. He stayed in Ireland until 1904, and in June that year he met Nora Barnacle, the Galway woman who was to become his partner and later his wife.
In August 1904 the first of Joyce’s short stories was published in the Irish Homestead magazine, followed by two others, but in October Joyce and Nora left Ireland going first to Pola (now Pula, Croatia) where Joyce got a job teaching English at a Berlitz school. After he left Ireland in 1904, Joyce only made four return visits, the last of those in 1912, after which he never returned to Ireland.