The jujube-sucking King
U 8.3-4: Lozenge and comfit manufacturer to His Majesty the King. God. Save. Our. Sitting on his throne sucking red jujubes white.
Bloom stands outside Graham Lemon’s the confectioners in Sackville Street, conjuring up an image of King Edward VII sucking jujubes. Jujubes are pastilles sold as sweets or as medicinal lozenges, especially for coughs, and they featured regularly in the newspaper advertisements of Lemon and other confectioners in Dublin at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Gordon Holmes, Senior Physician to Dublin’s Municipal Throat and Ear Infirmary, strongly advised the use of “Epps’s Glycerine Jujubes” in numerous advertisements in the 1880s: the “glycerine, in these agreeable confections, being in proximity to the glands at the moment they are excited by the act of sucking, becomes actively healing”.1
Joyce elaborates the picture slightly, by imagining the King sucking jujubes on the throne, but he is quite accurate in his identification of the royal sweets of choice.
1 Irish Times (1882), 9 February p. 3.
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