Joyce, James Timeline

Year Historical Literary Author

First commercial production of electricity

Married Women's Property Act, enables women to buy, own and sell property and to keep their own earnings

Born at Rathgar, Dublin

1883 Fabian Society founded

Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathrustra

1884 Ruskin's Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth-Century
Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

John Stanislaus Joyce (JSJ) brother, born in Rathmines, Dublin

1885 Haggard's King Solomon's Mines
1887 Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee celebrating 50 years of her reign Haggard's Allan Quartermain

Family moves to Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire)

1888 Jack the Ripper murders five women in London
Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society
Arnold's Essays in Criticism (Second Series)

J begins to attend Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit school, in County Kildare

1889 Newman dies Death of Gerard Manley Hopkins
1890 First underground railway in London
Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough (first two vols; complete 13 vols., -1915)
First of the Jim Crow laws passed to segregate blacks from whites in the South
Southern states pass series of laws to restrict black voting rights
William Morris' News from Nowhere
Emily Dickinson, Poems
1891 William Morris, Kelmscott Press Gissing's New Grub Street

JJ leaves Clongowes due to family’s financial problems

1892 Daimlers sell their first motor car

Family moves to Blackrock and then central Dublin; there are now eight children

1893 Independent Labour Party formed

JJ and JSJ begin to attend Belvedere College, Jesuit day school in Dublin

Last of JJ’s siblings born: there are now ten children


Family moves to Drumcondra; JJ excels at school; family moves again

1895 Oscar Wilde arrested and imprisoned for homosexuality

JJ enters Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary


J chosen as Prefect of Sodality; attends religious retreat

1897 Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

Becomes student at Royal University (now University College, Dublin); family still making frequent moves from house to house.

1899 ( - 1902) Second Boer War
Irish Literary Theatre founded
Ibsen's When We Dead Awaken
Pinero's Trelawney of the 'Wells'
Symons' The Symbolist Movement in literature
Wells' Tales of Space and Time
1900 Most children under eleven attending elementary school
Daily Express founded
Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams
1901 Queen Victoria dies. Edward VII king
First transatlantic radio communication by Marconi
Wells' The First Men in the Moon

Leaves Royal University and enrols at Royal University Medical School

First meeting with Yeats and Lady Gregory

1902 Balfour Education Act establishes state system of secondary schools
Second Boer War ends
Bennett's Anna of the Five towns
Mare's Songs of Childhood
Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles
Kipling's Just So Stories

Leaves Medical School and goes to Paris

JJ’s mother dies

1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright make first powered flight
New York-London news service begins using wireless telegraphy
Emmeline Pankhurst founds the Women's Social and Political Union
Butler's The Way of All Flesh
James' The Ambassadors
The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. du Bois
1904 Entente Cordiale settles colonial differences between UK and France
Offset printing invented
Abbey Theatre, Dublin, founded
Freud's The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
Hardy's The Dynasts, Part I published
J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan first performed on stage
James' The Golden Bowl

Begins work on stories which will become the collection Dubliners; begins work on Stephen Hero; writes poems which will appear in Chamber Music

Leaves home and spends short period as a teacher in Dublin

Meets Nora Barnacle and later they leave Dublin for continental Europe

Teaches English in Trieste

Son Giorgio born

Grant Richards agrees to publish Dubliners, but later withdraws

1905 Start of suffragette agitation and first suffragettes imprisoned
Einstein's special theory of relativity
Freud's Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
Doyle's The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Wells' Kipps

JJ’s brother JSJ, moves to Trieste

Moves briefly to Rome; begins ‘The Dead’

Chamber Music published in London

Daughter Lucia born

1906 Liberal landslide in general election; 29 Labour MPs elected and Labour Party constituted Mare's Poems

Abandons Stephen Hero and begins to revise text as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

1907 Pablo Picasso introduces cubism

Finishes writing ‘The Dead’

Poverty in Italy and family problems in Dublin

Stops writing Portrait after three chapters

Resumes work on Portrait

1908 Old Age Pensions Act introduces state pensions for the over-seventies
Ford's first Model T car sold in Britain
Pathe's first regular newsreel
First aeroplane flight in Britain
Edmund Gosse's Father & Son published
Bennett's The Old Wives' Tale
Wells' The War in the Air

Signs contract with Maunsell & Co. for publication of Dubliners in Dublin

Returns to Dublin to open city’s first cinema

1909 North Pole reached by Robert Peary (US)
NAACP founded 
Galsworthy's Strife
Pound's Personae

Returns to Trieste; cinema fails

Delay in publishing Dubliners

1910 Edward VII dies. George V becomes king
South Wales Miners' strike
First post-impressionist exhibition in London
First feature-length films
Freud's On Psychoanalysis
Collapse of cotton farming due to boll weevil damage
Galsworthy's Justice
Wells' The History of Mr Polly
1911 Ford Model T assembly plant opened in Manchester
Beatrice and Webb's Poverty
Der Blaue Reiter group of expressionist artists formed in Munich
Frazer's The Golden Bough (11 vols.-1915; first two vols., 1890)
Roald Amundsen reaches South Pole
Suffragette riots in London
Wells' The New Machiavelli

Lectures on Blake & Defoe at University in Trieste

Agreement with Maunsell & Co. breaks down

Begins twelve Hamlet lectures at University

1912 First Post-Impressionism Exhibition in London
Titanic sinks
Widespread strikes in Britain
Women's Franchise Bill rejected by the House of Commons; suffragettes riot in London
Some 400 cinemas in London; establishment of British Board of Film Censors
Bridges' Poetical Works
Mare's The Listeners
Georgian Poetry, ed. Edward Marsh
Pound's Ripostes
Mann's Death in Venice
1913 Suffragette Emily Davies dies after throwing herself under the King's horse at the Derby
Freud's Totem and Taboo; also Interpretation of Dreams
Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring
'Cat and Mouse' Act
House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule Bill but rejected by the House of Lords
Suffragette deonstrations
Marcel Proust publishes first of the seven volumes of A la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past) (last volume, 1927)

Revises Portrait and completes it for serialisation in The Egoist

Dubliners published by Grant Richards

Makes note for play Exiles and begins writing Ulysses

1914 August: Great War breaks out (to November 1918)
Irish Home Rule Act passed but later suspended because of war
World War One - although segregated, black soldiers enlisted to fight in US armed forces
Pound's Des Imagistes Joyce's Dubliners

JSJ interned in Austrian prison

Family moves from Trieste to neutral Zurich

Receives grant from Royal Literary Fund

1915 War intensifies with huge losses
Zeppelin attacks on London
Sinking of Lusitania
Einstein's general theory of relativity
Second Battle of Ypres
Brooke's 1914 and Other Poems
Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps
Kafka's Metamorphosis
Maugham's Of Human Bondage
Some's Imagist Poets: An Anthology, ed. Amy Lowell (further Imagist anthologies followed in 1916 and 1917)
Ford Maddox Ford's The Good Soldier

Dubliners and Portrait published in New York

Portrait published in England

1916 Easter Rising, Dublin
Conscription introduced
Battle of the Somme
Theories of shell-shock develop
Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious
Battle of Verdun
Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister
The Great Migration to the north begins (US) 
Brighouse's Hobson's Choice
Wells' Mr Britling Sees it Through
Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

JJ undergoes operation for problems with his eyes

Begins to receive financial support from an anonymous donor, Harriet Shaw Weaver (editor of the Egoist); this continues for the rest of JJ’s life

1917 USA enters war
Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)
Russian Revolution (March)
Freud's Introduction to Psychoanalysis
Abdication of Czar Nicholas II
Russian Revolution (October)

Agrees to publish Ulysses serially in the Egoist

Parts of Ulysses begin to be serialised in the Little Review

Exiles published by Grant Richards

Further problems with his eyes

1918 End of the Great War: Armistice, 11 November
Rutherford splits atom
Representation of the People Act (4th Reform Bill) gives the vote to all men over twenty-one and women over thirty
Stopes' Married Love; Parenthood
Fisher Education Act raises school-leaving age to fourteen
Influenza pandemic, kills over 20 million people world-wide by 1920
Execution of Czar Nicholas II
Vote given to all men over twenty-one and women over thirty
Joyce's Exiles
Thomas' Last Poems

Copies of Little Review containing episodes of Ulysses confiscated by US postal authorities on grounds of indecency

Egoist publishes edited versions of further episodes

Family moves to Paris

1919 Treaty of Versailles
Anglo-Irish War begins
Nancy Astor becomes first woman MP
Flu pandemic
Peace conference at Versailles
Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence

Issues of Little Review containing episodes of Ulysses seized by U. S. postal authorities and complaint made by New York Society for the Suppression of Vice

Little Review convicted of publishing obscene matter and no further episodes appear

1920 Partition of Ireland
League of Nations founded (precursor of the United Nations)
Oxford admits women to degrees (1880 at London University)
Jung's Psychological Types
Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Mansfield's Bliss
Strachey's Eminent Victorians
Hardy's Collected Poems

Sylvia Beach, Paris bookseller, offers to publish Ulysses, paid for by advance subscription

JJ completes manuscript

Ulysses published in Paris

JJ has more problems with eyes

1921 Economic slump
Marie Stopes opens first birth-control clinic in London
Irish Free State formed
Huxley's Crome Yellow
Pirandello Six Characters in Search of an Author

Begins writing Work in Progress (later to become Finnegans Wake)

1922 Unemployment stands at 2 million: first of many 'hunger marches' organised by the NUWM throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
Irish Civil War breaks out (ends 1923)
Mussolini comes to power in Italy
Radio broadcasting begins; British Broadcasting Company formed
Frazer's The Golden Bough (one-volume abridged edn)
Establishment of the USSR
Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga
Mansfield's The Garden Party
Richards' Principles of Literary Criticism
Joyce's Ulysses (published in Paris; banned in the UK until 1936)

(1924-31) Continues work on Finnegans Wake with sections being published in various forms in Paris and New York

1923 Matrimonial Causes Act (allows women to sue for divorce on same grounds as men, including adultery) Sitwell's Façade published
Cummings' Tulips and Chimneys
Huxley's Antic Hay
Cane, Jean Toomer (Harlem Renaissance author)
1924 Paris Exhibition
First Labour government in Britain under Ramsay MacDonald (January)
Housing Act provides for subsidised public housing (generates over half a million new homes by 1932)
Freud's The Ego and the Id
Ramsay Macdonald forms first Labour government
1925 Pensions Act provides pensions at sixty-five Coward's Hay Fever
Hemingway's In Our Time
1926 General Strike
Television first demonstrated by John Logie Baird; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) established
T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1927 Trade Disputes Act makes general strikes illegal
Charles Lindbergh, first solo transatlantic flight
German financial and economic crisis
Rise of Stalin in USSR
Graves and Riding's A Survey of Modernist Poetry
1928 Universal suffrage for men and women
Minimum voting age for women in Britain reduced to twenty-one from thirty years
Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin (fully exploited from 1940)
First films with sound in Britain
Blunden's Undertones of War
Huxley's Point Counter Point
Isherwood's All the Conspirators
1929 General election returns minority Labour government; Margaret Bondfield becomes first woman Cabinet member
Wall Street Crash and start of international economic depression
Margaret Bondfield becomes first woman Cabinet member
Graves' Goodbye to All That
Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
Priestley's The Good Companions
Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front (film version, 1930)

JJ and Nora Barnacle marry in London for sake of children’s inheritance

JJ’s father dies

1930 Jet engine invented
11th May: Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to complete a solo flight from England to Australia
The Great Depression
Nazis begin rise to power in Germany
Foundation of the Nation of Islam (black national separatist organisation)
Blunden's Collected Poems
Coward's Private Lives
Faulkner's As I Lay Dying
Maugham's Cakes and Ale

Lucia, JJ’s daughter, has first mental breakdown and spends period in clinic in Paris

1931 Woolf's The Waves

Lucia in hospital in Switzerland

1932 Hunger marches in Britain
British Union of Fascists formed
Huxley's Brave New World
Eliot's Sweeney Agonistes

Ulysses legally cleared on obscenity in USA

Ulysses published in USA

Lucia again in hospital

JJ resumes work on Work in Progress

1933 Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany Auden's The Dance of Death
Orwell's Down and Out in London and Paris
1934 British Union of Fascists addressed by Oswald Mosley
Adolf Hitler becomes Führer
John Masefield becomes Poet Laureate
James' The Art of the Novel
Pound's Make it New
Priestley's English Journey

Ulysses published in London

1935 Radar & nylon invented
Italy invades Ethiopia
Launch of first Penguin paperbacks
1936 Death of George V
Accession, then abdication of Edward VIII
Spanish Civil war begins
Jarrow March of the unemployed
Accession of George VI
Huxley's Eyeless in Gaza
Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Thomas' 25 Poems

JJ completes Finnegans Wake

1937 British policy of appeasement towards Italy and Germany
Mass Observation Project starts
Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier
Priestley's Time and the Conway's
Woolf's The Years

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Finnegans Wake published in London and New York

1938 Munich agreement with Hitler
Supreme Court rules Missouri must provide access to public schooling for blacks as well as whites
Waugh's Scoop
Day-Lewis' Overtures to a Death
Greene's Brighton Rock

Family move to Zurich after France surrenders to Germany

1939 End of Spanish Civil War
Start of the Second World War
Evacuation of children from London
Thomas' Twenty-Six Poems
Eliot's The Family Reunion
Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin
Joyce's Finnegan's wake
Orwell's Coming up for Air
Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath

JJ dies (13 Jan) following operation on a perforated stomach ulcer - buried in Zurich. Nora is buried separately when she dies in 1951, and they are reburied together in 1966

1940 Churchill becomes Prime Minister
Evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk
Start of the Blitz
Thomas' Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog
Greene's The Power and the Glory
1941 Japanese bomb Pearl Harbour
USA declares war on Germany and Italy
Coward's Blithe Spirit
Eliot's Little Gidding
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