JOYCE, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. London: The Egoist Ltd., 1916.
8o. Original green cloth, front cover stamped in blind, gilt-lettered on spine (spine split along rear hinge, H.G. Wells's newspaper review pasted to front pastedown, lightly rubbed). Provenance: Grant Richards (presentation inscription; ALS tipped in).
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION from American sheets. Probably 750 copies. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY JOYCE TO THE PUBLISHER OF 'DUBLINERS' GRANT RICHARDS on the front free endpaper: "To Grant Richards James Joyce Zurich: Switzerland 31 March 1917."
[Tipped to half-title:]
JOYCE, James. Autograph postcard signed twice ("James Joyce") to Grant Richards, Zurich, 30 March 1917. 1 page, oblong 12o. Joyce writes: "Dear Mr Richards: I send you by this post registered a presentation copy of my novel and shall be obliged if you will acknowledge its safe receipt."
"ONCE UPON A TIME AND A VERY GOOD TIME IT WAS..." Portrait's path to publication was rocky to say the least. Originally serialized in Harriet Shaw Weaver's Egoist--then edited by Ezra Pound-- between 2 February 1914 and 1 September 1915, the novel faced nearly insurmountable troubles in finding an English publisher. Joyce authorized Weaver to proceed in publishing the book under the Egoist imprint, but the first printers she approached refused the book unless certain paragraphs were removed or modified. Pound conceived of an idea whereby the offending passages would be left out and later pasted in by hand (in Joyce, Letters, vol. II, p.375). Not satisfied with such a scheme, Weaver sent the serial publication to Edmond Byrne Hackett in New York, who then contacted B.W. Huebsch, the independent New York publisher who ultimately became responsible for the first edition.
Weaver tried one final time to see if William Heinemann would publish the book in England but upon his refusal, she ordered 750 sets of the sheets from Huebsch to release herself. In October 1916 Joyce wrote from Zurich designating eleven people to whom Weaver should send copies of the English issue when ready. He enclosed inscription slips for all but the first three: John Joyce, Michael Healy, Mrs. Murray, W.B. Yeats, Arthur Symons, William Archer, H.G. Wells, Lady Cunard, Edmund Gosse, George Moore and Edward Marsh. In January 1917 he requested a twelfth copy for Constantine Curran, enclosing an inscription slip, and three additional copies, including one for Weaver herself. "I think the presentation copies are now twelve but I will ask you to send me here three more copies (the extra five--beyond the ten allowed for--being of course charged to my account) as I want one for myself and two for you and Mr Pound. In these latter I should like to write a few words if you will allow me to do so..." (Joyce, Letters, vol. II, p.388).
Weaver's English issue was published on 12 February 1917. At the time Joyce was suffering from eye trouble, and he did not get to send Weaver her inscribed copy until 7 March. Grant Richards, who had published Dubliners in 1914, had refused Portrait, labeling the novel "quite hopeless" (quoted in Ellmann, James Joyce, p.395). From the date of the inscription, this is most probably one of the three additional copies requested by Joyce in January and may have been the one he requested for himself or earmarked for Pound, as that copy has never been located. Richards's has pasted H.G. Wells's review of the book to the front pastedown. Connolly, The Modern Movement 26 ("a landmark in sensibility"); Slocum & Cahoon A12.