Letter: A knock to the tale of Joyce's door

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your Dublin correspondent, Alan Murdoch, has been misled over the hall door installed on the stairway in the Bailey ('Pub crawl invokes the spirit of Joyce and Behan', 27 September). It is not from any home of James Joyce, but from 7 Eccles Street, a house in which his college friend J. F. Byrne lived at the time of Joyce's emotionally charged visit to Dublin in 1909. Joyce visited the house to seek consolation after it was suggested to him (falsely) that his wife Nora had been unfaithful to him in 1904. In due course Joyce installed Leopold and Molly Bloom there in the pages of Ulysses, a late-night walk with Byrne also being recycled as the walk of Bloom and Stephen Dedalus.

The door was rescued by the late John Ryan many years ago; the house was not renovated, but demolished to make way for the Mater Nursing Home. As Joyce's numerous homes have their doors intact, the American who thought he was getting a genuine relic should try elsewhere.

Yours sincerely,

PETER COSTELLO

Dublin

27 September

Thre writer is author of 'James Joyce - The Years fo Growth' (1992)

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