Heinous Hainau and the Blooms

U 17.868-9: […] blond, born of two dark, she had blond ancestry, remote a violation, Herr Hauptmann Hainau, Austrian army

Franz Stanzel was the first to identify, tentatively but convincingly, Milly Bloom’s violating ancestor Herr Hauptmann Hainau as Julius Jacob von Haynau (1786 –1853), an Austrian general who was prominent in brutally suppressing insurrectionary movements in Italy and Hungary after 1848. Such was the notoriety of the “hyena of Brescia”1 in Europe that on a tour of Britain in September 1850 he barely escaped alive when outraged English brewery workers attacked him.

As Stanzel points out, Carl von Schönhals, a high-ranking officer who knew Haynau personally and who published a biography of him in the year Haynau died, describes Haynau as originally blond, with a high forehead, blue eyes and a huge moustache.2 Seemingly contradictory personal descriptions of the merciless and hated officer responsible for the atrocities committed in Brescia and Hungary can easily be explained by the fact that Haynau was by then in his sixties.

A passage from Charles Holte Bracebridge’s Sketches on Italy illustrates the atrocities Haynau and his troops were blamed for:

If the atrocities committed at a later period by Haynau in Hungary, had not corroborated the report of those perpetrated at Brescia, contemporaries might have denied the latter credence, and considered the description of them as the dream of a madman. He spared neither age nor sex. Disabled age, women and children, were put to the sword with the same fury as the combatants. The churches were polluted by pillage and rape, and the altars sullied with the blood of the victims. Haynau himself took delight in killing by the slowest methods, accompanied by the greatest refinements of torture, the father before the eyes of his children, the children before those of their father, the husband in the arms of his wife, and brothers in each other's arms […] We must ask pardon for recording facts so revolting, but truth and the wrongs of Italy demand it. (p. 131)

In Germany, satirical papers like Kladderadatsch, Mephistopheles or Almanach zum Lachen caricatured and derided Haynau, for example in the poem “Das Lied vom General Haynau”,3 or in the example below - a short novel of four chapters. These two publications turn him into a robber by the name of Hainau Hainaunino or Haynau Haynaunino, a name which alludes to the Italian bandit chief Rinaldo Rinaldino.

The following extract from the novel has striking similarities to Joyce’s reference: the spelling of Haynau’s name as “Hainau”, and his military rank (with a pun here on the common title of a bandit chief); the ravenblack4 Jewess with a name alluded to in a memory of Bloom’s father in the Lotus Eater episode; and her intended violation by the blond victor. Considering Joyce’s long stays in Austrian Trieste (and also in Zurich) his acquaintance with this or a similar text seems likely:

"Hauptmann Hainau Hainaunino, there is a wondrous Jewish maiden among our hostages. Her body is noble and her hair ravenblack like the Rose of Jericho."

"And what’s her name?" Hainau waking up asked gruffly.

"L e a h !" Beppo answered with scarcely disguised lust.

"Get her ready for the evening then. Adorn her with flowers and anoint her - give her Christian fare that she becomes clean and worthy of becoming your Hauptmann's lover. And now – off to B r e s c i a!”

The horses were saddled. Hainau mounted a gallant Andalusian and already in the midday sun of the bloody day the smoking buildings of Brescia, the cries of motherless infants and dishonoured virgins testified to the gallantry of the victor and the temperance of the German robbers and scoundrels.

Sadly adorned Lea sat in the chief's cave. A white swanlike arm supported her head of black locks. Tear after tear fell from the burning eyes. Her full marble bossom heaved amply. Her lovely alabaster neck bent at the thought of the approaching loss of her virginity.

Almanach zum Lachen (Berlin: 1851), p. 37 [translation Harald Beck]

We should not overlook that what seems like a momentary whim of the author of Ulysses in turning an early version (“Fair of two dark parents she had come from some ancestor & a youthful love”5) into a tale of rape by a well-known military man has its foundation in the ancient myths on which his novel is based: Antikleia, the mother of Odysseus, was "violated" by Sisyphos, but Laertes, his father, married her in spite of it.

Harald Beck


1 Edmund Flagg, Venice: the City of the Sea (1853), contains a section with this page heading on p. 237.

2 Biographie des K. K. Feldzeugmeisters Julius Freiherrn von Haynau von einem seiner Waffengefährten (Graz: 1853), p. 126.

3 See Mephistopheles (1850), no. 102, p. 4.

4 In the Cyclops chapter with its anti-semitic atmosphere Molly is referred to as “the ravenhaired daughter of Tweedy” (12.1003).

5 NLI MS 13, p. [9r.] See also Luca Crispi, Joyce’s Creative Process and the Construction of Characters in Ulysses (2015), p. 206, but with “Fair” for “Fairy” (my correction).

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