"They all belong to a vanished world and most of them seem to have been very curious types."
Research has shown that virtually all the characters in Joyce's fiction are based (to a greater or lesser degree) on real people who lived in and around Dublin at the turn of the nineteenth century. Often they are referred to by their real names and share characteristics and circumstances with their real counterparts.
These pages present real-life information about Joyce's characters, taken from books, newspapers, registers, and any other regular or ephemeral source in which they may occur. We hope that this often new raw material will supplement information which is already known about the backgrounds to Joyce's Dublin.
For a full listing of notes and articles on Joyce's People go to Articles
Charles Dawson – lecturer on talking about everything
The style and content of Dawson’s speech are mocked at some length in the Aeolus episode (7.242 – 343 ), with Professor MacHugh calling him an “inflated windbag” (7.315), and Bloom offering “Bladderbags”. Later Bloom takes a more balanced view [read more]
John O’Mahony and the Language of the Outlaw
The name ‘John O’Mahony, B. L.’ appears in both the Freeman’s Journal and the Irish Daily Independent for 25 October 1901, listed ‘Amongst those who accepted the Society’s invitation’ to the Law Students’ Debating Society the night before.1 This, the inaugural event of the society’s seventy-second session, was the address on ‘The Irish Revival’ at which John F. Taylor delivered the original of the speech recalled and repeated by Professor MacHugh in ‘Aeolus’. [more]
Francis Irwin, TCD, in the fusty world of Garrett Deasy
The girl in the toga girilis
Katey Keogh, Assistant at the Volta Cinema, Dublin
Katey Keogh, almost a cliché of a common Irish name used by Bloom in a verse for his daughter Milly, was thought to have been an imaginary character created by Joyce. [more]