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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Joyce letter is sold for 32,000
James Joyce letter
The letter was written nine years before the book was published
A letter in which author James Joyce pleaded with a publisher to buy his first major book Dubliners has sold for 32,265 at Christie's in London.

Joyce wrote the letter to Heinemann publishers in 1905 when he was 23 - but his work was turned down and he battled for a decade to have it published.

It was eventually printed in 1914 but Joyce had left Ireland by then as a result of the numerous rejections.

The letter says: "The book is not a collection of tourist impressions".

An edition of the book was due to be published in 1910 - but was burnt by the printers, who felt it was offensive.

Joyce said he wanted Dubliners to be a chapter of Ireland's moral history including stories based on childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life.

James Joyce
Joyce went on to live in Switzerland and France
By the time the book came out, Joyce and his family were living in Zurich.

The letter was part of the Quentin Keynes collection of books and manuscripts, which fetched a total of 3,357,532.

It was one of 50 items relating to Joyce, with the collection selling for a total of 267,851.

A rare copy of Joyce's satirical poem Holy Office made 28,680 and one of only 25 copies of an Obelisk Press edition of poetry collection Pomes Penyeach sold for 26,290.

Other items sold over the three-day auction included a letter written by David Livingstone and left in a bottle at the mouth of the Zambesi river, which fetched 17,925.

Collector Quentin Keynes, who died last year, was an explorer, wildlife photographer and film-maker.

Joyce archive bought for 8m
29 May 02  |  Arts
Joyce film passed after 33 years
27 Sep 00  |  Entertainment


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