Ulysses Commemorative Stamp 1
Ulysses Commemorative Stamp 1

Ulysses Stamp Collection Launched

Two new stamps known as the “Ulysses 100” have been launched in Ireland to mark the 100th year anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s novel, “Ulysses.”

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An Post (The Irish Post Office) unveiled the Ulysses stamp collection on Jan. 27 to honor what it called “one of the greatest and most influential pieces of modernist literature.”

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Ulysses was first published in 18 parts in an American journal called “The Little Review” from March 1918 through December 1920.

an old blue covered book Ulysses stamp collection
The first edition of “Ulysses” was printed in Paris in 1922. Photo: Geoffrey Barker – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=114486259

It was published in its entirety on Feb. 2, 1922, by Sylvia Beach, a Paris-based publisher who founded a bookshop and lending library called Shakespeare and Company, which specialized in books published in England and the U.S.

If you're visiting Paris, you'll find an English-language book store located on the Left Bank that is named after Beach’s original store, which closed in 1941.

February 2nd was incidentally Joyce’s 40th birthday.

Ulysses chronicles a single day in the lives of the 22-year-old Stephen Dedalus as well as husband-and-wife Leopold and Molly Bloom as they traverse the streets and suburbs of Dublin.

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a tower Ulysses stamp collection
The Martello Tower in Sandycove, one of the settings for James Joyce's “Ulysses.” It is known today as The James Joyce Tower & Museum. Photo: William Murphy, https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Stephen, who is featured in Joyce’s other novel, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” starts his day at the Martello Tower in Sandycove (now known as the James Joyce Tower & Museum), while 38-year-old Bloom, a Jewish husband, father, and advertising executive wanders from his home at 7 Eccles Street in North Dublin.

The narrative includes streams of consciousness and inner monologues from both characters as they take on separate journeys.

Their views on early 20th-century Dublin and Ireland, their memories of the past, and their concerns for the future are also intertwined into the narrative.

people playing trumpets Ulysses stamp collection
Scenes from the Bloomsday Festival in Dublin. Photo: Street Feast Photography by Ruth Medjber www.ruthlessimagery.com

The widely read book is celebrated annually throughout the world in a celebration known as Bloomsday (June 16th).

The Ulysses 100 stamps were designed by Amsterdam-based Irish designers, The Stone Twins.

Photo: Failte Ireland.

The design used in the stamps includes photographs captured by JJ Clarke, a renowned photographer who took vivid images of Dublin between 1897 and 1904 when he was studying to be a doctor in the city.

The Ulysses stamp collection as well as a special First Day Cover commemorative envelope are available in post offices across Ireland and online.

Free delivery is available to residents in Ireland who order the stamps.

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