Joyce's Environs‎ > ‎



1a North Earl Street and
34 Grafton Street.

At Tallon’s you can buy

 M’dleham Opinion 1s
World’s Comic
St Paul’s 6d
Exchange & Mart
Sketchy Bits
Duchess Nov[elette]
Athletic News
Paddock Life
Science Siftings
Short Stories
Woman’s Life
Jockey Special 1s
Racing W Special
Horner’s Stories
Princess Nov[elette]
Home Chat
Comic Cuts
F H Supplement
Great Thoughts
Sporting Herald
Christian Herald
Golden Penny
Home Companion
London Reader
Newnses’s Library
All Sorts
Detriot [sic] Free Press
Family Reader
Home Magazine
Amateur Gardening
Bicycling News
Christian Budget
Exchange and Mart
Mirror of Life
Police Gazette
Police News
Man of the World
Boys’ Friend
Hearth and Home 3d
Athletic Record
Heartsease Library
Hugo’s French J’nl
Modern Society
Photo Bits
Saturday Journal
Snap Shots
Sporting Sketches
Weekly Telegraph
New Penny Mag
Ally Sloper
Christian Million
Farm Field & Fireside
Home Novelette
Home Stories
Pitman’s Weekly
Aldine Stories
Big Budget
Empress Novel
Family Novel
Fireside Novel
Funny Cuts
Illustrated Bits
Sunday Stories
Police Budget
Annie Swan’s Stories
Enquire Within
Family Doctor
Family Herald
Gentlewoman 6d
Lady 3d
Ladies Field 6d
Madame 6d
M. A. P.
Sunday Reader
Tit Bits
Weekly Budget
Literary World
Sunday Companion
Black and White
Exchange and Mart
London News
Illust’d Penny Paper
Feathered World
L V Gazette
L V Mirror
Public Opinion
SP and Dram News
Lady’s Pictorial
Carpenter and Builder
CS Competitor
Golden Stories
Our Home
London Times (weekly)
Sporting Luck
Home Sweet Home
Eng Mechanic
Union Jack
Glasgow W Mail
Glasgow W Herald
Music Hall
Our Dogs
Diamond Special
Halfpenny Nov
Home Notes
Weekly Dispatch
News of the World
Funny Wonder
Illustrated Standard
Pearson’s Weekly
Sportsman’s W Guide
Sporting Life "
M’Calls "
Lunar Month "
Chronicle "
Spare Moments
Sporting Times
Racing World
Sporting World
Weekly Sun
Speculator 2s
Weekly Scotsman


Magazines for Christmas (1898)


In the run-up to Christmas 1898 the Dublin stationer James Tallon, of 34 Grafton Street and 1a North Earl Street, took the unusual decision to advertise in the newspapers not just his best-selling wares, but more or less his entire stock. The Freeman’s Journal for 10 December therefore carries a long advertisement, listing almost 175 magazines and periodicals sent over from London which the Dublin (and ‘country’) public could buy at his shops.

        This list gives us an insight into the sort of material that could be bought off the shelf in 1898 by Joyce and his contemporaries, and helps us to imagine the line of distribution by which Joyce acquired it. Joyce cites many of the magazines listed and his familiarity with periodical publications is quite in keeping with his objective of examining the lives and preoccupations of everyday Dubliners in fiction. The items all appear in library catalogues and bibliographies, but they feel more real to us when they appear in a Grafton Street stationer’s list for the price of a few pennies.

        The full list appears in the sidebar. Many of the items stand out to those familiar with Ulysses and the other works. High up the list appears the ‘Princess Nov[elette]’: compare “Madame Vera Verity, directress of the Woman Beautiful page of the Princess Novelette” (U. 13.109-10).

        Soon after we find the magazine Answers: Joyce’s father struggled with the puzzles in 1898 (“Thinks he’ll win in Answers, poets’ picture puzzle”: U 11.1023-4) in an attempt to obtain some extra cash; see also “tipbids and answers” in FW 101.05.

        Just under that, Comic Cuts, published from 1890 right up to 1950. In the first issue the editor writes: “If you like Comic Cuts it will live and grow until it is as well known as our excellent friends 'Scraps' and 'Sloper', to whom greeting” (both Scraps and (Ally) Sloper appear in Tallon’s list). Joyce notes “read Comic Cuts” in the Finnegans Wake Buffalo Notesheets (vol. 6, p. 52).

        The British and Irish public were fascinated by the sensationalist stories of the Police Gazette and the Illustrated Police News. Both were on sale through Tallon. Joyce is dismissive of the former in Ulysses: “here she is...that was giggling over the Police Gazette with Terry on the counter”(U 12.1165-6). By June 1920 he writes to his aunt Josephine aboutthe gazette or police news or whatever the devil it is it was always on sale in low newsagents (Letters (1966) vol. II, p. 471-2)

        As a tour de force Tallon is able to supply Joyce with all three of the magazines which Stephen encountered at Joe Dillon’s house (“An Encounter”, Dubliners 175): “He had a little library made up of old numbers of The Union Jack, Pluck and The Halfpenny Marvel”.

        Some of the other items on Tallon’s list referred to by Joyce are:

Modern Society (1880-1917), containing society gossip:  “a press cutting from an English weekly periodical Modern Society, subject corporal chastisement in girls’ schools” (U 17.1801-2)

Photo Bits (1898-1926): “The Bath of the Nymph over the bed. Given away with the Easter number of Photo Bits” (U 4.369-70); “Im glad I burned the half of those old Freemans and Photo Bits” (U 18.600-1); “BLOOM You mean Photo Bits? THE NYMPH I do” (U 15.3260-3)

Ally Sloper (1884-1949 in various guises): “prognothic with receding forehead and Ally Sloper nose” (U 15.2151-2)

Gentlewoman (1890-1926): “those kidfitting corsets Id want advertised cheap in the Gentlewoman” (U 18.446-7). Tallon’s reference is probably not to the Figaro and Irish Gentlewoman, though arguably Joyce’s may be.

M. A. P. (= Mainly About People – 1898-1911): “The personal note. M. A. P. Mainly all pictures” (U. 7.97)

Tit Bits (1881-1956): “In the tabledrawer he found an old number of Titbits (U 4.467); a Titbits back number (U 15.934); also “tipbids and answers” (FW 101.05)

Literary World (1868-1919): “[1905] Do not send 'Hallow Eve' to any paper as I have sent it to 'Literary World' which offers prize of £10. 10. 0. Send me at once copies of this paper” (Letters (1966) vol. II, p. 100); “I sent my story The Clay (which I had slightly rewritten) to The LITERARY World (Letters (1966) vol. II, p. 109)

Lloyd’s (= Lloyd’s Weekly News): “that picture of that hardened criminal he was called in Lloyds Weekly news” (U 18.991-2); “As regards the gazette or police news or whatever the devil it is it was always on sale in low newsagents…. Can you obtain for me Reynold’s or Lloyd’s Weekly News or News of the World” (Letters (1966) vol. II, p. 472)

News of the World: see previous entry

Reynolds (= Reynold’s Newspaper, under various titles from 1849-1923): “He still bought a copy of Reynold's Newspaper every week but he attended to his religious duties and for nine-tenths of the year lived a regular life” (“The Boarding House”, Dubliners 264); see also the two previous entries

Pearson’s Weekly (1890-1939): “those powders the drink habit cured in Pearson’s Weekly (U 13.291-2); “To Become Tintinued in Fearson’s Nightly (FW 359.27); [April 1929] “A lot of it was read to me but I should prefer the book advertised in Pearson's W[eekly]” (Letters (1966) vol. III, p. 188)

Weekly Budget (1861-1912): “I declare somebody ought to put him in the budget” (U 18.578-9). Tallon has four Budgets on his list. Of these, by far the best known was the Weekly Budget.

Lady’s Pictorial (1881-1921): “it was expected in the Lady’s Pictorial that electric blue would be worn” (U 13.150-1)

Nuggets (1892-1906): “the Snake (Nuggets!) by a Woman of the World” (FW 107.03) (reprinting stories from other Tallon magazines such as Scraps and Snap Shots)

L V Gazette (= Licensed Victuallers’ Gazette: 1872-1966): “suck my thumping good Stock Exchange cigar while I read the Licensed Victualler’s Gazette” (U 15.2897-8)


For bibliographical details of the individual magazines see The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800-1900.


John Simpson

Search by keyword (within this site)

Back to top