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University of Texas at Austin

Lucia Joyce:

An Inventory of Her Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Joyce, Lucia, 1907-1982
Title: Lucia Joyce Collection
Dates: 1925-1995 (bulk 1935-1976)
Extent: 1 box (.21 linear feet)
Abstract: This small collection of Lucia Joyce materials contains writings, correspondence, photographs, printed materials, and video, dating from 1925 to 1995.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-02235
Language: English, French, German, and Italian.
Access: Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchase, 1981 (R9309); Gift, 1996 (G13590)
Processed by: Stephen Mielke, 2007

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Lucia Anna Joyce, second child and only daughter of Irish writer James Joyce and Nora Barnacle, was born July 26, 1907, in Trieste, Austria-Hungary. Her early life and education was somewhat unstable as the impoverished Joyce family relocated often. She attended several schools, moving between Trieste and Zurich until 1920, when the family settled and lived in and around Paris.
In addition to her formal education, Lucia Joyce studied piano, singing, and drawing. At age fifteen, she began dance studies in Paris. She eventually performed professionally, but discouraged with her progress and abilities, she abandoned her dance career in 1929.
In her early twenties, Lucia Joyce pursued several brief and unsuccessful relationships. Among her romantic interests were Samuel Beckett, and her drawing instructor, Alexander Calder. Family and friends observed increasingly erratic behavior from Joyce during this period, and in February 1932, she was institutionalized for a short time after throwing a chair at her mother. She was engaged to Alex Ponisovsky in March 1932, but wedding plans were abandoned after the further decline of her mental health.
Lucia Joyce spent the next several years in and out of sanitariums. She was seen by numerous doctors and analysts, including Carl Jung, and was diagnosed at different times as neurotic, schizophrenic, and manic-depressive. In 1935, she was committed to an asylum near Paris and remained institutionalized for the rest of her life, dying December 12, 1982, in St. Andrew's Hospital in Northampton, England.
Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982
Shloss, Carol. Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003

Scope and Contents

This small collection of Lucia Joyce materials contains writings, correspondence, photographs, printed materials, and video, dating from 1925 to 1995.
Writings consist of two small notebooks of handwritten manuscripts by Lucia Joyce headed " My Dreams" (circa 1960) and " Autobiography | My Life" ( 1961). The latter notebook contains a typed transcription of Lucia Joyce's 1958 manuscript " The Real Life of James Joyce told by Lucia Joyce." Digitized images of these three items are also available for viewing in the Ransom Center Reading Room. Also present is a one-page fragment of a handwritten address list and a single page of English, French, and German handwriting, both by unidentified authors.
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence to and from Lucia Joyce, predominantly from Joyce to her cousin, Boezema (Schaurek) Dalimata. The outgoing correspondence dates from 1935 to 1976, and includes two letters to Joyce's aunt (Dalimata's mother), Eileen (Joyce) Schaurek, and one fragment of a letter to an unidentified recipient.
Incoming correspondence to Joyce dates from 1925 to 1935 and consists of one letter each from Maria Jolas, Helen Joyce, and Harriet Weaver.
Third-party correspondence, dating from 1935 to 1996, is primarily to Boezema Dalimata. Correspondents to Dalimata are: Dr. Pat M. Carr, Padraic Colum, Zlatko Gorjan, Patricia (Barnacle) Hutton, Maria Jolas, Giorgio "George" Joyce, Niny Rocco-Bergera, and Harriet Weaver. Also include is a 1947 letter from John Stanislaus "Stannie" Joyce to Eileen (Joyce) Schaurek, and a 1950 letter to Schaurek from the National Library of Ireland that accompanies a typed translation of a 1935 letter from James Joyce to Lucia Joyce.
The correspondence was purchased from Boezema Dalimata in the mid-1990s by rare book dealer J. Howard Woolmer and includes notes to Woolmer from Dalimata and her daughter, Kamilla Beghetto. One photocopy of a 1962 letter from Lucia Joyce to Eileen (Joyce) Schaurek was provided to the Ransom Center by Beghetto.
Other materials provided to Woolmer by Dalimata include photographs of James Joyce relatives and Joyce related events, a map of Dublin, a Summer 1985James Joyce Quarterly, several printed cards and announcements, newspaper clippings, and a VHS video cassette containing parts two and three of the 1982 television production " The World of James Joyce." The video has been transferred to the Ransom Center Film Collection.

Related Material

The following Ransom Center collections also contain Lucia Joyce related materials and are described in archival inventories in the Ransom Center reading room or online at
Gilbert, Stuart
Joyce, James
Lowell, Robert

Index Terms


Joyce, James, 1882-1941 -- Family.


Novelists, Irish -- 20th century -- Family relationships.

Document Types

Video recordings.

Lucia Joyce Collection--Folder List