Professor Bloody-Big-Umbrella Glynn
SH 20.117-8: One of Cranly's friends came up the stairs while they were talking. He was a young man who was by day a clerk in Guinness's Brewery and by night a student of mental and moral philosophy in the night classes of the College. It was, of course, Cranly who had induced him to attend.
Glynn seems to have been introduced under a pseudonym and then to have reverted to his real name. Mamigonian and Turner note that “a close reading makes it clear that Joyce has taken one person and split him into three slightly varying clerks".
By 1890, Patrick Glynn held the senior position of Manager of the Cask Department at Guinness’s, a position he retained until his death.
Patrick Glynn was born around 1848 in Dublin, the son of Patrick Joseph Glynn and his wife Anne O’Connor. He joined Guinness’s in the mid 1860s, married Delia O’Donovan (originally from Philadelphia) in 1877, soon after the deaths of his parents, and the couple had a number of children. He is unlikely to have been known personally to Joyce, though – as we shall see - it would not be surprising if Joyce’s father knew him.
None of these personal characteristics seem to apply to Patrick Glynn. From his photograph he appears a rather impressive figure:
He gradually moved south from central Dublin, to Upper Rathmines by the mid 1880s, then down to Sandycove, south of Blackrock on the road to Dalkey. In 1890 he was elected Honorary Secretary of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club, based in Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire), a post which he held until his death.3 At this point we might note that John Joyce was also associated with the sailing and rowing fraternity of Dublin in the 1870s and 80s, where we find him “spinning his little yacht along the coast with a friend, and pulling in for a swim or a drink at Bullock Harbour or Sandycove with its Martello Tower and its bathing place, or jostling with other yachts within the two great arms of the piers at Kingstown”.4 Although not working for Guinness’s, John Joyce was at this time (the early 1870s) working at the Dublin and Chapelizod Distilling Co.
In the early 1890s Glynn was called to give evidence on behalf of Guinness’s to the British Government’s Select Committee on Railway Rates and Charges.5 His evidence is reported over sixteen pages, and appears to have been presented in a crisp and lucid manner. He betrays none of the nervousness that Joyce ascribes to him.
It seems that we can therefore safely disregard the suggestion that Joyce’s “Glynn” shares personal qualities with Patrick Glynn. There must have been some other reason for this animus, which we cannot now determine.
John Joyce and several other family friends and acquaintances sang at the annual concerts given in Dublin by the Misses Flynn.
About two miles out from Bray the boat was lost. By a sad irony, Patrick Glynn had been Honorary Secretary of the local section of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution since 1895.7
1 Marc A. Mamigonian and John Noel Turner, “Annotations for Stephen Hero” in James Joyce Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Spring, 2003), p. 412.
2 “Night classes” (= evening classes): this was a term particularly associated in Dublin in the early 1890s with University College (in Stephen’s Green), which Joyce later attended. The classes were advertised under this name from at least 1890 until 1896 (see, for example, Freeman’s Journal (1890), 23 September). The Professors of Mental and Moral Theology were leading figures at UCD at the time.
3 See Donal O’Sullivan Dublin Bay: a century of sailing 1884-1984 (Dublin Bay Sailing Club: 1984).
4 John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello John Stanislaus Joyce (1998), ch. 8 p. 73.
5 1893-4 (385) First report from the Select Committee on Railway Rates and Charges; together with the proceedings of the committee, minutes of evidence, and appendix: Examination of Mr. Patrick John O’Connor Glynn (Tuesday 4 July 1893), pp. 191–207.
6 Belfast News-letter (1898), 13 August.
7 Freeman’s Journal (1895), 11 November.
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