Joyce, latchkey to 7 Eccles Street, Dublin, home of Leopold and Molly Bloom in Ulysses
iron, with a notched bit, 98mm., on a ring with a later disc engraved "7 Eccles Street" and, on the reverse, "Yes", THE ADDRESS OF LEOPOLD AND MOLLY BLOOM IN ULYSSES, key rusted and slightly bowed
"...At the housesteps of the 4th of the equidifferent uneven numbers, number 7 Eccles street, he inserted his hand mechanically into the back pocket of his trousers to obtain his latchkey..."
THE KEY TO ITHACA. 7 Eccles Street, Dublin, is the home of Leopold and Molly Bloom in Ulysses. Bloom forgets his latchkey when he departs on his wanderings around Dublin on 16 June 1904, and has to hop the fence when he finally returns home from Bella Cohen's brothel, with Stephen in tow, at 2am. In 1904 Eccles Street was a sedate and respectable Georgian terrace, and Joyce knew no. 7 as the home of his friend J.F. Byrne. In later decades, however, the area declined to a slum and when the literary scholar Dr Louis A Muinzer visited on a literary pilgrimage in 1967 he found the house in the process of being demolished. Muinzer's protests at the destruction of the house were unsuccessful but the foreman gave him the latchkey as a mark of respect (the engraved disc was commissioned by Muinzer). This key was not the only object to survive the demolition: the front door was also salvaged and is now in Dublin's James Joyce Centre.
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