SPOTLIGHT: Pomes Penyeach

We have just acquired a first edition of James Joyce’s much sought after Pomes Penyeach! Shop here

1927. Of these poems thirteen copies have been printed on Dutch hand-made paper and numbered 1 to 13. First edition hardback with printed title to front board. Half title and list of author’s works. Errata insert to rear fep. Some discolouration to board edges. Rubbing to spine. Pages lovely and bright and binding tight. Overall very good condition. Unpaginated, approx. iii + 16 pp. Pomes Penyeach was written over a twenty-year period from 1904 to 1924 and originally published on 7 July 1927 by Shakespeare and Company for the price of one shilling (twelve pennies) or twelve francs. The title is a play on “poems” and “pommes” (the French word for apples) which are here offered at “a penny each” in either currency. It was the custom for Irish tradespeople of the time to offer their customers a “tilly” (in Irish, tuilleadh) or extra serving � just as English bakers had developed the tradition of the “Baker’s dozen”, offering thirteen loaves instead of twelve. The first poem of Pomes Penyeach is entitled “Tilly” and represents the bonus offering of this penny-a-poem collection. (The poem was originally entitled “Cabra”, after the district of Dublin where Joyce was living at the time of his mother’s death.)

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