"THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WORK OF MODERN TIMES": FIRST EDITION OF ULYSSES, IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS
JOYCE, James. Ulysses. Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922. Quarto, original blue paper wrappers, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $36,000.
First edition of the novel that changed the path of modern literature, number 670 of only 750 numbered copies on handmade paper, in the now-iconic original paper wrappers.
"The novel is universally hailed as the most influential work of modern times" (Grolier Joyce 69). After working seven years on Ulysses, Joyce, desperate to find a publisher, turned to Sylvia Beach of Shakespeare and Company in Paris. "Within a month of the publication, the first printing of Ulysses was practically sold out, and within a year Joyce had become a well-known literary figure. Ulysses was explosive in its impact on the literary world of 1922… Then began the great game of smuggling the edition into countries where it was forbidden, especially England and the United States. The contraband article was transported across the seas and national borders in all sorts of cunning ways" (de Grazia, 27). Of the 1000 copies of the first edition, 100 copies were printed on Holland paper and were signed by Joyce, 150 copies were printed on vergé d'Arches paper, and the other 750 copies, numbered 251 to 1000, were printed on slightly less costly handmade paper, as here. Slocum A17.
Interior generally quite nice, minor tape marking to blank endpapers, original wrappers with faint soiling, expert joint repair and coloring to extremities, restoration to fragile spine. An extremely good copy.