Times in the Novel

John Hunt


  • Ulysses begins with sunrise on 16 June 1904 and ends in the predawn hours of June 17. Readers experience not only the events of one ordinary day, but also, through characters' thoughts, many significant past times—and a few future ones—in the lives of Leopold and Molly Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, James Joyce, Dublin, Ireland, Europe, the world. Some of the remembered times are fictional, while many others (including most before 1850) have actually happened. Some can be pegged to the minute, hour, or day, others only to months, years, or centuries. The novel challenges readers to make sense of this welter of individual and cultural memories, but it does not make the task easy. Since details surface randomly in characters' thoughts, readers must make hundreds of connections, often across hundreds of pages.
  • This list chronologically orders many of the times that the novel mentions, alludes to, or assumes a familiarity with. Details from the life of Bloom abound; Molly, less so; Stephen, still less. Irish history is everywhere; Jewish history plays a strong supporting role. Other cultural developments weave their way through these master narratives. Dating and describing every cultural event or production to which the novel alludes would bloat the list to the point of uselessness, but some play such a signficant role in the narrative as to demand inclusion.
  • Joyce occasionally changed the time of an actual occurrence to a different fictional time; such events may be listed in one way or the other, but the divergence is always noted. Choice has also been exercised in grouping together related events under a single heading to increase narrative coherence; many entries in the list select one time as most important, joining what happens at that time with things that have already happened or will happen in the future.
  • Entries tie events to quotations from the novel, so that the user can see how the book's texture is filled with the history that Joyce partly remembered, partly imagined. Quotations are identified by episode. To avoid confusion, almost nothing appears in quotation marks that does not come from the novel. The rare exceptions come with clearly cited sources.
  • Very little effort has been made to reconcile competing calendars or clocks.
  • To jump to a particular era, click on one of the following headings:
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times
  • Ancient times

  • 1271 BC. According to rabbinical tradition, Moses dies in this year at the age of 120, having led the Jewish people out of a centuries-long captivity in Egypt, toward the region that tradition holds to be their ancestral homeland. But the god who has guided him will not allow him to enter into "the promised land" with his people, so Moses dies after seeing it from the top of Mount Pisgah on the other side of the Jordan river: "A Pisgah Sight of Palestine" (Aeolus). Stephen's parable evokes this scene at the end of a chapter in which Moses has figured in two of three formal speeches: a description of Michelangelo's "stony effigy," an "eternal symbol of wisdom and of prophecy"; and an account of "ancient Egypt," in which "the youthful Moses" resists the urging of a haughty highpriest to "accept our culture, our religion and our language" (Aeolus). If Moses had acquiesced, the speech says, "he would never have brought the chosen people out of their house of bondage"; "And yet," remarks one of the men in the newspaper office, "he died without having entered the land of promise" (Aeolus). The longing for a homeland which one cannot reach characterizes not only Moses, but also, as time goes on, his people. The Egyptian captivity is only the first of three major geographical dislocations that define Jewish history, being followed centuries later by the Babylonian captivity, and, centuries after that, by the diaspora resulting from conflict with Rome (not to mention expulsions from Spain and England, massacres in Germany, pogroms in Russia and eastern Europe). The Irish people too have been in captivity for centuries, and Stephen's parable describes a sight of Palestine from the top of a column memorializing the greatest military leader of imperial Britain.
  • 1184-1174 BC. According to the Alexandrian mathematician Eratosthenes, the city of Troy is sacked in 1184. Over the next ten years, the legendary Greek king Odysseus returns from the conquered city to his homeland, Ithaka. Analogues of the fictional events of Homer's romance/epic (sometimes detailed and extensive, sometimes not) show up in each of the novel's eighteen chapters, suggesting multifarious analogies between the lives of ancient and modern men and women. Joyce built his novel around the idea of homecoming, using Homer's story to represent his characters' tenuous hold on domestic happiness. However, he explicitly signalled the presence of the Greek hero (using his Roman name, Ulysses) only three times: once in the title, and twice in relation to Shakespeare. In his talk in the library, Stephen compares the English playwright to Homer's protagonist in a rhyming couplet or quatrain about the play Pericles: "What softens the heart of a man, shipwrecked in storms dire, Tried, like another Ulysses, Pericles, prince of Tyre?" (Scylla and Charybdis). Later in the same performance, mocking Shakespeare's disregard for consistencies of time and place, Stephen thinks of the presence of Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida: "He puts Bohemia on the seacoast and makes Ulysses quote Aristotle" (Scylla and Charybdis).
  • Ca. 850 BC. According to II Kings, the prophet Elijah ascends into heaven in a chariot of fire. At the end of the scene in Barney Kiernan's pub, when a carriage bears Bloom away from a murderous Citizen, he is presented parodically as a type of Elijah: "When, lo, there came about them all a great brightness and they beheld the chariot wherein He stood ascend to heaven. And they beheld Him in the chariot, clothed upon in the glory of the brightness, having raiment as of the sun, fair as the moon and terrible that for awe they durst not look upon Him. And there came a voice out of heaven, calling: Elijah! Elijah! And He answered with a main cry: Abba! Adonai! And they beheld Him even Him, ben Bloom Elijah, amid clouds of angels ascend to the glory of the brightness at an angle of fortyfive degrees over Donohoe's in Little Green street like a shot off a shovel" (Cyclops).
  • 700s BC. A legendary poet named Homer writes the Odyssey. Ancient sources place the composition of the poem near the time of the Trojan War, but modern scholars favor a much later date—if indeed a single author composed this work whose stories developed over centuries as oral bards retold tales inherited from other bards. In regard to Ulysses, the most important thing about the date of the Odyssey may be simply that it is very ancient, and that, in Joyce's view (articulated in the early lecture Drama and Life, exemplified in the late Finnegans Wake), essential human realities do not vary much over the millennia.
  • Ca. 597-586 BC. Babylonian soldiers conquer the Kingdom of Judah, raze the Temple and the rest of Jerusalem to the ground, and drive much of the Jewish population into exile in Babylon. Psalm 137 commemorates the sorrow that the Jewish people felt in captivity, sitting by the rivers of Babylon, remembering Zion and the destruction of Jerusalem. Stephen associates their exile with Kevin Egan's exile from Ireland: "Weak wasting hand on mine. They have forgotten Kevin Egan, not he them. Remembering thee, O Sion" (Proteus). The connection does not end with Egan; the novel suggests a larger analogy between Jewish and Irish captivity, making an equivalence between "the restoration in Chanah David of Zion [i.e. in King David's land, Canaan] and the possibility of Irish political autonomy or devolution" (Ithaca). The Jews' longing for a restoration of their Temple also functions as a figure for the missionary founding of churches: "Elijah is coming. Dr John Alexander Dowie restorer of the church in Zion is coming" (Lestrygonians). (As a matter of historical fact, the Second Temple will be completed later in the 6th century, and dedicated in 516 BC.)
  • Ca. 450-430 BC. In the book named after him (the last book of the Christian Old Testament), the Jewish prophet Malachi predicts that Elijah will return from heaven to herald the coming of the Messiah. Jews take Malachi's prophecy as evidence that Jesus is not the Messiah, since his first coming has not been preceded by Elijah's second. (Jesus himself argues, in Matthew 17 and Mark 9, that Elijah has in fact returned, in the person of John the Baptist.) In Barney Kiernan's pub, after Bloom assumes a Christlike pose by arguing for love and nonviolence, the Citizen's vicious mockery unwittingly invites the reader to consider Bloom a Messiah: "— That's the new Messiah for Ireland! says the citizen. Island of saints and sages! — Well, they're still waiting for their redeemer, says Martin. For that matter so are we. — Yes, says J. J., and every male that's born they think it may be their Messiah. And every jew is in a tall state of excitement, I believe, till he knows if he's a father or a mother" (Cyclops). The American revivalist preacher John Alexander Dowie, who has founded a utopian community in Illinois called Zion, comes to Dublin with his own message of a second coming of Elijah. "A sombre Y.M.C.A. young man" hands Bloom "a throwaway" with the message that "Elijah is coming. Dr John Alexander Dowie restorer of the church in Zion is coming" (Lestrygonians). Bloom throws away the throwaway, and as it floats slowly down the Liffey and out to sea the novel announces three times that Elijah is coming, the first one thus: "A skiff, a crumpled throwaway, Elijah is coming, rode lightly down the Liffey, under Loopline bridge, shooting the rapids where water chafed around the bridgepiers, sailing eastward past hulls and anchorchains, between the Customhouse old dock and George's quay" (Wandering Rocks). The same message appears on posters stuck on Dublin walls (Wandering Rocks, Oxen of the Sun). In the brothel, the end of the world finally arrives and Elijah appears: "A rocket rushes up the sky and bursts. A white star fills from it, proclaiming the consummation of all things and second coming of Elijah" (Circe). Elijah, when he speaks, sounds like an American revivalist.
  • 401 BC. An army of Greek mercenaries fights its way out of Asia Minor against vastly greater Persian forces, an ordeal described in Xenophon's Anabasis. Buck Mulligan repeats the exultant cry that the Greek soldiers make upon reaching the Black Sea and realizing that they will survive: "Thalatta! Thalatta! [The sea! The sea!]" (Telemachus).
  • Ca. 380 BC. The Athenian philosopher Plato writes the Republic, a vision of a kallipolis or ideal city-state that is deeply suspicious of literary art, the great Homer's not excepted. Stephen Dedalus observes that Plato "would have banished me from his commonwealth"; in opposition to AE's contention that great works of literature "bring our minds into contact with the eternal wisdom, Plato's world of ideas," he advances a "peripatetic" theory in which the artist walks through the world of space and time, seeing the structure of his soul manifested in material reality (Scylla and Charybdis).
  • Ca. 335-323 BC. Aristotle, a former student of Plato and "maestro di color che sanno" (the master of those who know) according to Dante (Proteus), founds his own Peripatetic school in Athens and writes major philosophical works that Stephen finds more congenial. He thinks often of "Aristotle's phrase"[s] and ideas (Nestor), including ones from the De Anima, Metaphysics, and Physics, and invokes Aristotle, "Plato's schoolboy," as the patron philosopher of his aesthetic theory (Scylla and Charybdis).
  • 279 BC. The Hellenistic Greek general Pyrrhus, having defeated Roman forces at Asculum in southern Italy, says, "Another victory like that and we are done for" (Nestor). In the novel, Pyrrhus' valiant but doomed struggle against the growing power of Rome is presented as emblematic of the futility of resisting the British empire, whether that lesson is a positive one, as in Mr. Deasy's school for sons of the Ascendancy, or a depressing meditation, as for Professor MacHugh: "Pyrrhus, misled by an oracle, made a last attempt to retrieve the fortunes of Greece. Loyal to a lost cause" (Aeolus).
  • 15 March 44 BC. Julius Caesar is "knifed to death" (Nestor). In the cabman's shelter, Stephen asks Bloom "to oblige me by taking away that knife. I can't look at the point of it. It reminds me of Roman history" (Eumaeus).
  • Ca. 0-33 AD. A Jew named Yeshua, later called Jesus Christ (Christ being the Greek equivalent of the Jewish Messiah, Anointed One), lives and conducts a prophetic ministry in Palestine, and is executed on trumped-up charges by Roman authorities. Joyce liked Jesus better than the church founded in his name, and mentioned him often in Ulysses. The blasphemous mockeries of Buck Mulligan, like the "ballad of joking Jesus" that mocks the life events of the Savior (Telemachus), do not exhaust the novel's attitudes. Stephen thinks of Jesus as an enigmatic oracle whose influence pervades western culture: "Here also over these craven hearts his shadow lies and on the scoffer's heart and lips and on mine. It lies upon their eager faces who offered him a coin of the tribute. To Caesar what is Caesar's, to God what is God's. A long look from dark eyes, a riddling sentence to be woven and woven on the church's looms" (Nestor). Stephen also cites one of Jesus' sterner pronouncements: "a man's worst enemies shall be those of his own house and family" (Scylla and Charybdis). When they are courting, Bloom infuriates Molly by saying that Jesus was "a carpenter" (Mark 6:2-3) and "the first socialist" (Matthew 19:21): "at last he made me cry of course a woman is so sensitive about everything I was fuming with myself after for giving in . . . he annoyed me so much" (Penelope). Bloom also harps on Jesus' ethnic heritage, igniting the Citizen's wrath by telling him that "Your God was a jew. Christ was a jew like me" (Cyclops)—"Because mostly they appeared to imagine he came from Carrick-on-Shannon or somewhereabouts in the county Sligo" (Eumaeus). The novel encourages this thought that "Christ was a jew like me." When Stephen sits across from Bloom in his kitchen, he sees in him "The traditional figure of hypostasis" (Ithaca), and the Citizen's hateful words unwittingly strengthen the identification: "That's the new Messiah for Ireland!" (Cyclops).
  • Ca. 0-100 AD. The legendary Cú Chulainn, great warrior hero of the Ulster Cycle, is said to have lived in the first century after Christ. He heads a list of "Irish heroes and heroines of antiquity" whose images are engraved on "seastones" hanging from the belt of a "broadshouldered deepchested stronglimbed frankeyed redhaired freelyfreckled shaggybearded widemouthed largenosed longheaded deepvoiced barekneed brawnyhanded hairylegged ruddyfaced sinewyarmed hero" (Cyclops). The list begins respectably with five ancient kings—"Cuchulin, Conn of hundred battles, Niall of nine hostages, Brian of Kincora, the ardri Malachi"—and half a dozen genuine leaders from later times, but then begins to admit more dubious choices, and soon devolves into wild parody, with representatives such as Christopher Columbus, Beethoven, Patrick W. Shakespeare, Goliath, and the Last of the Mohicans. Cuchulin, Gifford notes, "excelled in every manly art and has been romanticized as the superhuman epitome of the Celtic hero, the defender of the realm who used his powers solely for the good of his people" (320).
  • 66-ca. 150 AD. Jewish revolts in Judæa (a Roman province since 63 BC) lead to the Roman destruction of the Second Temple and most of Jerusalem, the renaming of the territory as Syria Palestina, and the dispersion of a Jewish people that had already been geographically fragmented by the Babylonian captivity and an earlier Assyrian conquest. Jews take up residence in so many parts of the world, and their communities become shaped by so many forces of intermarriage, conversion, cultural assimilation, and persecution that the very notion of Jewishness becomes deeply problematic. These centrifugal forces are countered by rabbinical religious teachings and by a popular mythology of forced exile from an ancestral homeland. With the emergence of anti-Semitism in the second half of the 19th century, and Zionist settlements in Palestine in the early 20th century, the idea of returning to the lost homeland will acquire a very concrete focus. In the butcher shop Bloom encounters one such Zionist enticement to return to Palestine, in the form of a "pile of cut sheets: the model farm at Kinnereth on the lakeshore of Tiberias. Can become ideal winter sanatorium"; he feels the longing for an ancestral homeland and fantasizes briefly about Palestine as an idyllic place "On earth as it is in heaven" (Calypso). He decides, however, that return is not possible: "No, not like that. A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead sea: no fish, weedless, sunk deep in the earth. No wind could lift those waves, grey metal, poisonous foggy waters. Brimstone they called it raining down: the cities of the plain: Sodom, Gomorrah, Edom. All dead names. A dead sea in a dead land, grey and old. Old now. It bore the oldest, the first race. A bent hag crossed from Cassidy's, clutching a naggin bottle by the neck. The oldest people. Wandered far away over all the earth, captivity to captivity, multiplying, dying, being born everywhere" (Calypso).
  • Late 200s. King Cormac, the grandson of the second Irish hero on the string of seastones—Conn of the Hundred Battles—chokes to death on his food because druid priests have cursed him. So, at least, Leopold Bloom understands the history: "That last pagan king of Ireland Cormac in the schoolpoem choked himself at Sletty southward of the Boyne. Wonder what he was eating. Something galoptious. Saint Patrick converted him to Christianity. Couldn't swallow it all however" (Lestrygonians). The history is legendary, and its details become even more dubious as a result of the 19th century poem's narration and Bloom's defective mnemotechnic. Like his father Art and grandfather Conn before him, Cormac was the King of Tara (a kind of sacred king of kings), and the founding King of Ireland by some accounts; his grandfather had extended the power of Connacht into Leinster and Munster. He could not have been the "last pagan king" whose conversion to Christianity angered the druids, because St. Patrick did not come to Ireland until ca. 432. Much later in the novel, Stephen corrects Bloom's mistake: "Bloom assented covertly to Stephen's rectification of the anachronism involved in assigning the date of the conversion of the Irish nation to christianity from druidism by Patrick son of Calpornus, son of Potitus, son of Odyssus, sent by pope Celestine I in the year 432 in the reign of Leary to the year 260 or thereabouts in the reign of Cormac MacArt († 266 A.D.), suffocated by imperfect deglutition of aliment at Sletty and interred at Rossnaree" (Ithaca). Stephen's definite dates notwithstanding, Cormac lived in a prehistoric age, and there is considerable disagreement about the exact time of his reign.
  • 325. The first Council of Nicæa agrees upon an official church Credo to counter the teachings of Arius. Stephen thinks of the "proud potent titles" that this creed gave to the early Church—"et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam"—and associates "the slow growth of rite and dogma" with his own slowly developing artistic thoughts; he imagines "A horde of heresies fleeing with mitres awry: Photius and the brood of mockers of whom Mulligan was one, and Arius, warring his life long upon the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, and Valentine, spurning Christ's terrene body, and the subtle African heresiarch Sabellius who held that the Father was Himself His own Son" (Telemachus). The doctrine of consubstantiality articulated in the Nicene Creed recurs throughout the novel. Stephen wonders what constitutes "the divine substance wherein Father and Son are consubstantial? Where is poor dear Arius to try conclusions? Warring his life long upon the contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality. Illstarred heresiarch" (Proteus). He founds his theory of artistic creation on the "mystical estate" that fatherhood bestows "from only begetter to only begotten" (Scylla and Charybdis).
  • 336. Arius, a controversial theologian and church leader in Alexandria, dies. Stephen imagines his final moments in unflattering terms: "Illstarred heresiarch. In a Greek watercloset he breathed his last: euthanasia. With beaded mitre and with crozier, stalled upon his throne, widower of a widowed see, with upstiffed omophorion, with clotted hinderparts" (Proteus). Probably because of his controversial non-Trinitarian elevation of the Father over the Son, Arius did not in fact ever become the bishop that Stephen imagines him as being.
  • 378-405. "Niall of the nine hostages," the third man on the string of seastones (Cyclops), rules as High King in these years, according to the Annals of the Four Masters. The office of High King does not in fact yet exist, but Niall is the King of Tara. He is regarded as one ancestor of the O'Neill dynasties that dominated Ireland from the 500s until the accession of Brian Boru (a.k.a. "Brian of Kincora," the fourth hero on the list) in 1002.
  • Ca. 432. Patrick, a Romanized Briton who was enslaved earlier in his life by Irish raiders, returns to Ireland to Christianize the island. (According to a Latin Life of St. Patrick, Niall of the Nine Hostages led the raid on Britain that resulted in Patrick's capture.) He uses the three-leafed shamrock as an illustration of the Trinity, which Bloom regards as a shrewd bit of salesmanship: "Clever idea Saint Patrick the shamrock" (Lotus Eaters). By some accounts, Patrick not only converts the people of the 5th century but also establishes a link with the legendary past. Stephen thinks, "Patrick with Oisin" (Scylla and Charybdis), recalling a story that Oisin, the great poet of the Fianna, did not die with all the other 3rd century heroes, but lived on to become converted by Patrick. The logic of temporally extending the saint's exploits also reaches into the future. The xenophobic Citizen feels that a new mission of conversion may be required, to purge Ireland of Jews and other foreigners: "Saint Patrick would want to land again at Ballykinlar and convert us, says the citizen, after allowing things like that to contaminate our shores" (Cyclops). (Needless to say, he misses the irony of Patrick himself being a foreigner who contaminated Irish shores.) The novel also hilariously considers the traditional date of the saint's birth (March 17, St. Patrick's Day), attributing it to a compromise between rival dates proposed by members of the Friends of the Emerald Isle: "An animated altercation (in which all took part) ensued among the F. O. T. E. I. as to whether the eighth or the ninth of March was the correct date of the birth of Ireland's patron saint. In the course of the argument cannonballs, scimitars, boomerangs, blunderbusses, stinkpots, meatchoppers, umbrellas, catapults, knuckledusters, sandbags, lumps of pig iron were resorted to and blows were freely exchanged. The baby policeman, Constable MacFadden, summoned by special courier from Booterstown, quickly restored order and with lightning promptitude proposed the seventeenth of the month as a solution equally honourable for both contending parties. The readywitted ninefooter's suggestion at once appealed to all and was unanimously accepted" (Cyclops).
  • Ca. 590. With Christianity firmly established in Ireland, and most of western Europe only beginning to rebuild from waves of pagan Germanic invasion, Columbanus, an Irish monk, leaves his monastery at Bangor in County Down to spread Christianity to the Franks and Lombards in present-day France and Italy. He leaves behind a distraught mother: "His mother's prostrate body the fiery Columbanus in holy zeal bestrode" (Nestor). Stephen thinks ruefully of how he conceived his own mother-deserting self-exile to Paris as a glorious mission: "You were going to do wonders, what? Missionary to Europe after fiery Columbanus. Fiacre and Scotus on their creepystools in heaven spilt from their pintpots, loudlatinlaughing: Euge! Euge! Pretending to speak broken English as you dragged your valise, porter threepence, across the slimy pier at Newhaven. Comment? Rich booty you brought back; Le Tutu, five tattered numbers of Pantalon Blanc et Culotte Rouge; a blue French telegram, curiosity to show: — Mother dying come home father" (Proteus). On the day of the novel, his mother's prostrate body is still paralyzing Stephen with guilt, and the book seems to be asking whether European civilization can save Ireland, rather than the other way around. Fiacre was another Irish saint, born about 50 years later than Columbanus but contemporary with him, who exported Christianity to the continent; he lived a hermit's life in France, but founded an oratory and a hospice there. Scotus came later, in the 13th century, and he may have been Scottish rather than Irish; one of the great Scholastic philosophers, he taught in Paris, among other European university towns. Stephen also thinks briefly of "saint Canice," another contemporary of Columbanus who conducted missions to convert the Picts in Scotland (Proteus).
  • 624. "Cong Abbey" (Cyclops) is founded on the border of Counties Galway and Mayo.
  • Ca. 790. Scandinavians, perhaps originally from Norway, invade Ireland. Stephen thinks, "Galleys of the Lochlanns ran here to beach, in quest of prey, their bloodbeaked prows riding low on a molten pewter surf" (Proteus). The Irish name for them, Lochlanns, may refer to a home in Norway, Scotland, or northern Britain. These early Viking raids seek goods and slaves, and do not result in settlements.
  • 846. According to the Annals of the Four Masters St. Mary's Abbey is founded by an Irish king in this year, before there is a city of Dublin to which it can lend the name Abbey Street. The monastery is originally Benedictine, but it will be taken over by the Cistercians in the 12th century. Most of the abbey will be destroyed by fire in the 19th century, and the undamaged part of the Chapter House (the oldest remaining religious establishment in the city) taken over by a seed and grain merchant. "This is the most historic spot in all Dublin. O'Madden Burke is going to write something about it one of these days," says Ned Lambert as he gives the Rev. Hugh C. Love a tour of the chapter house, the men picking their way around "piled seedbags" and "sacks of carob and palmnut meal" through the "mouldy air" (Wandering Rocks).
  • Late 800s. Vikings found the city of Dublin, and it remains a Danish possession for about a century. Stephen thinks of the end of this period: "Dane vikings, torcs of tomahawks aglitter on their breasts when Malachi wore the collar of gold" (Proteus). Malachi's victory over Olaf Cuaran at the battle of Tara in 980 will wrest control of Dublin from the Danes.
  • 980. The O'Neill king Máel Sechnail, or Malachi, becomes High King of Ireland. He comes fifth in the seastone rosary of heroes, as the "ardri [high king] Malachi" (Cyclops). His reign will last until 1002, when Brian Boru succeeds him.
  • 23 April 1014. "King Brian Boru" (Ithaca), or "Brian Boroimhe" (Hades), or "Brian of Kincora" (Cyclops), whom Malachi has acknowledged as High King in 1002, ending the long run of the O'Neills, dies at the end of a battle at Clontarf, just north of Dublin. The battle becomes celebrated as ending the power of the Vikings in Ireland, but the reality seems to be more complex: Brian has made alliances with some Danish leaders, and the Vikings will not become militarily irrelevant until the Anglo-Norman invasions in the 12th century. In 1893, Leopold Bloom contemplates writing a variety-show song "entitled If Brian Boru could but come back and see old Dublin now" (Ithaca).
  • 1095. A church is founded in Dublin by a Danish holy man named Michan. Barney Kiernan's pub is in the "parish of Saint Michan," hence "the land of holy Michan," and Bloom "comes through Michan's land, bedight in sable armour" (Cyclops). Tom Kernan wonders whether Robert Emmet was "buried in saint Michan's?" (Wandering Rocks). He may have been.
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times

    1100s

  • Late 1100s. Two philosophers, one Muslim and one Jewish, pursue similar projects of reconciling Aristotelian philosophy with their theistic religious traditions. A century later, Thomas Aquinas will do the same thing within the Christian intellectual tradition. Stephen thinks, "Gone too from the world, Averroes and Moses Maimonides, dark men in mien and movement, flashing in their mocking mirrors the obscure soul of the world, a darkness shining in brightnesss which brightness could not comprehend" (Nestor).
  • 1155. Pope Adrian IV, formerly the English cardinal Nicholas Breakspear, issues the papal bull Laudabiliter giving King Henry II of England temporal sway over all of Ireland, partly in hopes of breaking the independence of the Irish church and bringing it under the sway of Rome. At the maternity hospital, amidst wild drunken plays on the word "bull," Mr. Dixon remarks that "It is that same bull that was sent to our island by farmer Nicholas, the bravest cattlebreeder of them all, with an emerald ring in his nose" (Oxen of the Sun). (John of Salisbury records that Pope Adrian also gave King Henry an emerald set in a gold ring to signify his overlordship of Ireland.) "So be off now," says the Pope to the bull, "and do all my cousin german the Lord Harry tells you" (Oxen of the Sun).
  • 1 May 1169. The Norman invasions of Ireland begin with a landing in County Wexford at the request of the King of Leinster, Dermot MacMurrough, who had been deposed in 1167 by a confederation of Irish lords led by the new High King. Part of MacMurrough's troubles stem from his having eloped with another lord's wife in 1152, leading the misogynistic Mr. Deasy to draw the moral that "A faithless wife first brought the strangers to our shore here, MacMurrough's wife and her leman, O'Rourke, prince of Breffni" (Nestor). (Deasy has Devorgilla married to MacMurrough and eloping with O'Rourke, the reverse of the actual situation.) MacMurrough dies in 1171, giving his son-in-law "Strongbow" (Richard de Clare, the Earl of Pembroke in Wales, one of the leading Norman lords) an opportunity to proclaim himself King of Leinster. Two years later, in 1171, King Henry II lands a second, much larger invasion force in County Waterford to assert control of Strongbow and the other Norman invaders, and to integrate parts of Ireland into his Angevin Empire. His forces take control of Dublin, and Henry becomes nominally the Lord of Ireland. In 1172, "Strongbow's castle on the Nore" (Proteus) is built to ensure control of a strategic crossing of that river, SW of Dublin.
  • 1200s

  • 1204. King John of England gives order for the construction of "Dublin Castle" (Lestrygonians, Oxen of the Sun), pursuing the usual Norman strategy of building stout stone castles not only for defensive military purposes but also to ensure control of subject populations. In its much-altered form in 1904, "the castle" (Wandering Rocks) remains one of the centers of British power in Ireland, housing, among other government offices, the Royal Irish Constabulary, a quasi-military police force that collects information from a network of informers: "We know that in the castle" (Cyclops); "The Castle is looking for him" (Circe); "drawing secret service pay from the castle" (Lestrygonians).
  • 1261. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar and professor, completes his first great philosophical work, the Summa contra Gentiles. Stephen, a passionate student of Aquinas "whose gorbellied works I enjoy reading in the original," calls him "the bulldog of Aquin," because of a medieval pun on the Dominican order, Domini canis, dog of God (Scylla and Charybdis). Buck Mulligan reports that he found Stephen one night in the red light district "deep in the study of the Summa contra Gentiles in the company of two gonorrheal ladies, Fresh Nelly and Rosalie, the coalquay whore" (Scylla and Charybdis). Stephen also indicates an intimate acquaintance with the Summa Theologica, left unfinished at Thomas' death in 1274, by quoting him on "incest" (Scylla and Charybdis). Both works seem to appeal to him because of their logical rigor and resourcefulness, and because, like the works of Averroes and Maimonides, they seek to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy with a religious cosmology.
  • 1290. Jews are expelled from England during the reign of King Edward I, a diaspora that will not be remediated until Oliver Cromwell allows some Jewish families to return to England in 1656. Mr. Deasy, who feels that "Old England is dying" because "the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction," crows that Ireland "has the honour of being the only country which never persecuted the jews," simply "Because she never let them in" (Nestor). He is mistaken on both counts.

    1300s

  • Ca. 1308-1321. Dante Alighieri writes his Divine Comedy, an epic account of medieval Italian life seen through the lens of Christian soteriology. Its influence is everywhere in Ulysses, an epic account of modern Irish life seen through the lens of freethinking science. Stephen refers sarcastically to the great poet's sternly rational otherworldliness: "we have the impetuosity of Dante and the isosceles triangle miss Portinari he fell in love with" (Eumaeus).
  • 1315. "The Bruce's brother" Edward (Proteus), younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland (the Bruce who achieved independence from England), invades Ireland in an attempt to achieve Irish independence from England, or at a minimum to divert Anglo-Norman men and materiel to a second front. He battles successfully for control of Ulster and is proclaimed High King of Ireland by the local kings there, but his power never extends outside Ulster, and after many battles Edward is killed in 1318, at the Battle of Faughart. Stephen thinks of him as a "pretender" to the throne (Proteus).
  • 1331. In the midst of a terrible famine, "a school of turlehide whales" broaches on the shallows near the mouth of the Liffey, drawing "from the starving cagework city a horde of jerkined dwarfs, my people, with flayers' knives, running, scaling, hacking in green blubbery whalemeat" (Proteus).
  • December 1337-February 1338. A very cold winter freezes the Liffey so hard that citizens build fires on the ice and play football. Stephen thinks, "I moved among them on the frozen Liffey, that I, a changeling, among the spluttering resin fires" (Proteus).
  • 1400s

  • 1487. "Lambert Simnel" (Proteus), a boy of some 10 or 11 years, is crowned King Edward VI of England, in Dublin. He has been groomed by a scheming Oxford-trained priest who has taken the boy on as his pupil, discovered in him a remarkable likeness to two different missing Yorkist heirs to the throne, and shipped him over to Ireland to gain the support of Anglo-Irish lords. With the newly crowned king in tow, followers of the Hiberno-Norman Earl of Kildare mount an invasion of England and are defeated by King Henry VII's forces. Henry pardons the hapless "pretender" (Proteus) and makes him a spit-turner in his royal kitchen.
  • 1490. "Perkin Warbeck," another "pretender" to the English throne supported by Anglo-Irish lords, claims that he is the rightful Duke of York and has a better claim to the crown than Henry Tudor (Proteus). Gifford wryly summarizes his fortunes: "Captured by the English, he confessed his imposture and was semipardoned; but he couldn't leave well enough alone and got involved in another conspiracy, thereby earning his ticket to Tyburn" (60).
  • 1492. The notoriously corrupt cardinal Roderigo Borgia becomes Pope Alexander VI, the likely model for Stephen's association of Buck Mulligan with a "prelate, patron of arts in the middle ages" (Telemachus). Borgia reigns as pontiff until his death in 1503. As an artist who is being patronized by Mulligan, Stephen continues the association by thinking of the composer Palestrina, whose work was commissioned by popes, and of the monumental mass that Palestrina wrote ca. 1560.
  • 1494. With the Wars of the Roses no longer diverting English aggressive energies, King Henry VII intrusively imposes inapplicable English land use laws on Ireland. The men in the maternity hospital extend the connection between English kings and papal bulls: "and there was a board put up on a hillock in the middle of the island with a printed notice, saying: By the lord Harry green is the grass that grows on the ground. And, says Mr Dixon, if ever he got scent of a cattleraider in Roscommon or the wilds of Connemara or a husbandman in Sligo that was sowing as much as a handful of mustard or a bag of rapeseed out he'd run amok over half the countryside rooting up with his horns whatever was planted and all by lord Harry's orders" (Oxen of the Sun).
  • 1495. In council before King Henry VII, Archbishop Richard Creagh charges Gerald Fitzgerald, the powerful Anglo-Irish "earl of Kildare" (called "the great earl, the Fitzgerald Mor"—mór is Irish for great) with having deliberately set fire to Cashel Cathedral (Wandering Rocks). The earl is reported to have replied, "By Jesus, I would never have doone it, had it not beene told me that the archbishop was within"—or, as it is recounted in Ulysses, "I'm bloody sorry I did it, says he, but I declare to God I thought the archbishop was inside" (Wandering Rocks). King Henry responds by appointing the earl to be his deputed ruler of Ireland.
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times
  • 1500s

  • 11 October 1521. Pope Leo X declares the English King Henry VIII Fidei defensor, Defender of the Faith, for his efforts in combating the Protestant ideas of Martin Luther. This "father of the faithful (for so they called him)" consequently "discovered in himself a wonderful likeness to a bull" and, lifting his bullish head out of a drinking trough, "told them all his new name. Then, with the water running off him, he got into an old smock and skirt that had belonged to his grandmother and bought a grammar of the bull's language to study but he could never learn a word of it except the first personal pronoun which he copied out big and got off by heart" (Oxen of the Sun). (Apparently Henry VIII never got good at writing papal bulls in the manner of Laudabiliter.) Gifford suggests (425) that the cow's drinking trough is the Irish-born Anne Boleyn, who first appeared in Henry's court in 1522.
  • 1529. The powerful Norman-Irish lord James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, Earl of Desmond, brags of his independence of Tudor power and, having negotiated with King Francis I in 1523 while the French king was fighting Henry VII, now negotiates with King Charles I of Spain (also Holy Roman Emperor Charles V). The Citizen exults in this time "when the earl of Desmond could with impunity make a treaty with the emperor Charles the Fifth himself" (Cyclops).
  • 1534. Lord Offaly, tenth Earl of Kildare, known as Silken Thomas for the silk badges that his knights wear on their helmets, renounces his allegiance to the English King Henry VIII. He is eventually apprehended and, with five of his uncles, hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. On the tour that he is giving the Rev. Hugh C. Love, Ned Lambert says, "We are standing in the historic council chamber of saint Mary's abbey where silken Thomas proclaimed himself a rebel in 1534" (Wandering Rocks).
  • 1541. Having proclaimed himself head of the now-somewhat-Protestant Church of England in 1536 as a result of his disagreement with Pope Clement VII, in this year King Henry VIII is proclaimed King of Ireland—a more ambitious claim than the Lordship of Ireland invented for Henry II in 1171—and also head of the now-somewhat-Protestant Church of Ireland. "In short," by the metaphorical logic of church bulls which Stephen and his medical friends have been drunkenly expatiating, "he and the bull of Ireland were soon as fast friends as an arse and a shirt" (Oxen of the Sun).
  • 1553. According to the Citizen, Ireland still enjoys some national sovereignty and some truly international trade, "with king Philip of Spain offering to pay customs duties for the right to fish in our waters" (Cyclops). According to Gifford, over the 21 years of the agreement "£1,000 per year was to be paid into the Irish Treasury" (351).
  • Early 1560s. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who has executed musical commissions for Pope Marcellus II but who has been relieved of papal employment by Paul IV because the Counter-Reformation is deeply suspicious of polyphony, returns to the Vatican after Paul's death to work for Pope Pius IV, and soon is commissioned to compose a mass for Pope Marcellus. Stephen thinks of how this "mass for pope Marcellus, the voices blended, singing alone loud in affirmation," combines the intricacy of distinct voices with the unity of plainsong, vindicating polyphony as a medium for spiritual expression, and he imagines the music "disarming" and "worsting" Mulligan, his "patron of arts" (Telemachus). Later, Bloom too will think of "Those old popes keen on music, on art and statues and pictures of all kinds. Palestrina for example too" (Lotus Eaters).
  • 11 November 1572. The astronomer Tycho Brahe sights a supernova in the constellation Cassiopeia. Lecturing on Shakespeare, Stephen attaches significance to its time and its location: "A star, a daystar, a firedrake, rose at his birth. It shone by day in the heavens alone, brighter than Venus in the night, and by night it shone over delta in Cassiopeia, the recumbent constellation which is the signature of his initial among the stars. His eyes watched it, lowlying on the horizon, eastward of the bear, as he walked by the slumberous summer fields at midnight returning from Shottery and from her arms" (Scylla and Charybdis). Stephen does not tell his listeners that the nova appeared in 1572, eight years too late to signal Shakespeare's birth, and disappeared in 1574, at least that many years too early for him to contemplate it while returning from Anne Hathaway's bed. Later in the novel, Bloom will tell him about another supernova that lit up the night sky in 1901.
  • 1588. England begins its rise to world power (or continues it, if one looks back to Henry II's Angevin Empire) with the defeat of a huge Spanish invasion force of some 130 ships. After being driven off the southern coast of England by small English fire-ships, the Armada sails east and then north, around Scotland and back toward Spain by way of Ireland; but powerful storms scatter the fleet as it sails past the Hebrides and Ireland's western coast, wrecking two or three dozen ships. As he walks along the tidal flats east of Dublin, noting all the detritus held in the sand, Stephen Dedalus thinks of "wood sieved by the shipworm, lost Armada" (Proteus). Later in the novel he thinks of Shakespeare's cartoonish Spaniard Don Armado as a comment on the events: "The lost armada is his jeer in Love's Labour Lost. His pageants, the histories, sail fullbellied on a tide of Mafeking enthusiasm" (Scylla and Charybdis). (The lifting of the Boer seige of Mafeking, a South African town held by a large British garrison, prompted huge jingoistic celebrations in London in 1900, so Stephen is linking contemporary imperialist militarism with the beginnings of England's rise to national greatness.)
  • Ca. 1590-ca. 1611. "A poet, yes, but an Englishman," William Shakespeare makes lots of money writing plays for the Elizabethan stage (Nestor). Hamlet in particular surfaces again and again in Joyce's novel, with explicit mentions in 13 of the book's 18 chapters. In Scylla and Charybdis, Stephen Dedalus performs an interpretation of the work of the great literary genius as an ongoing response to climactic family events: the 1585 birth and 1596 death of a son named Hamnet, sexual betrayal by his wife Anne Hathaway, and the birth of a granddaughter in 1608.
  • 1600s

  • 5 November 1605. Authorities learn of a conspiracy by thirteen English Catholics to blow up the House of Lords when King James I is opening a new Parliament, and Guy Fawkes is apprehended at midnight before the planned explosion standing guard over 36 barrels of gunpowder beneath the building. The conspirators' defeat is celebrated annually ever after in England on Guy Fawkes Day, but Catholic Irishmen entertain fond dreams of working "at a new gunpowder plot" (Wandering Rocks). Stephen thinks of how Shakespeare's Macbeth alludes to the trial of one of the thirteen, who defended his lies under oath with a theory that "equivocation" is ethically acceptable when practiced for a higher divine purpose: "Warwickshire Jesuits are tried and we have a porter's theory of equivocation" (Scylla and Charybdis).
  • 1641. Irish Catholic gentry, fearful of invasion by the radically Protestant parliamentary armies of England, attempt to seize power from the English government in Ireland, to extract concessions for the Catholic population. The coup d'état fails, and the Rebellion of 1641 devolves into a widespread ethnic struggle, starting in Ulster and spreading throughout the country, that will become known as the Irish Confederate Wars. This eleven-year struggle between Catholics and English and Scottish settlers parallels the civil wars in England, forming one front in the so-called Wars of the Three Kingdoms. During these internecine conflicts, a man named Cornelius Maguire forms "the Molly Maguires," a group of rebels who disguise themselves in women's clothing (Cyclops).
  • 1649. After his decisive defeat of the Stuart royalist forces in England and the execution of King Charles I on January 30, the English Puritan general Oliver Cromwell campaigns against the Confederate (pro-Stuart) forces in Ireland. His New Model Army begins by laying seige to the town of Drogheda in the east, on the river Boyne about 30 miles N of Dublin. After a week of seige, the garrison surrenders and Cromwell's soldiers take the town on September 11. They promptly massacre the 2,800 soldiers inside and, by some accounts, also slaughter thousands of women and children. The Citizen deplores this, the first of Cromwell's massacres in Ireland: "What about sanctimonious Cromwell and his ironsides that put the women and children of Drogheda to the sword with the bible text God is love pasted round the mouth of his cannon?" (Cyclops).
  • Ca. 1650. The first Jewish synagogue in Dublin is established in Crane Lane, near the old St. Mary's Abbey as Ned Lambert observes: "the original jews' temple was here too" (Wandering Rocks).
  • 1656. Oliver Cromwell, now Lord Protector of England, supports the petition of some Jewish families to resettle in the country, both on grounds of religious toleration and because their banking connections promise economic betterment. Leopold Bloom argues that "Spain decayed when the Inquisition hounded the jews out and England prospered when Cromwell, an uncommonly able ruffian who in other respects has much to answer for, imported them" (Eumaeus).
  • 1670. The bridge that will come to be called "Bloody bridge" (Wandering Rocks) is constructed over the Liffey. Guildsmen who see the bridge as a threat to their river-based mercantile enterprises incite their apprentices to destroy it, prompting intervention by the army, resulting in the death of four apprentices, begetting the name.
  • 1688. James II, a Stuart with strongly pro-Catholic sympathies who has ascended the English throne in 1685, is overthrown in the so-called Glorious Revolution and flees England for the French court. In 1689, seeking a base from which to operate against his son-in-law Wiiliam of Orange, the new English king, James invades Ireland, where he mints a new line of "Stuart coins" (Nestor) out of melted brass cannons, debasing the Irish currency.
  • 1 July 1690. At the Battle of the Boyne, near Drogheda, William's Protestant forces defeat his predecessor James' Catholic forces, securing not only his claim to the English crown but also Protestant rule in Ireland. Protestants toast his "Glorious, pious, and immortal memory" (Nestor) for centuries afterward, and a statue of King William mounted on his battle steed is erected in Dublin: "Where the foreleg of King Billy's horse pawed the air Mrs Breen plucked her hastening husband back from under the hoofs of the outriders" (Wandering Rocks). Although the Catholic forces supporting James retire in good order without inordinate casualties, the deposed king, showing the same lack of resolve he displayed in England in 1688, leaves for exile in France, earning him the nickname Seamus a' chaca, James the shit.
  • 3 October 1691. Patrick Sarsfield, the leader of Irish troops who have continued to oppose Williamite forces after their defeat at the Battle of the Boyne (despite James' ignominious retreat to France), signs the Treaty of Limerick on a large stone in Limerick. The treaty specifies that he and 11,000 of his troops—virtually the entire Catholic Irish army—will accept exile to the continent, in exchange for certain rights being granted to Irish Catholics. Sarsfield and his men emigrate to Spain and France, the first of many so-called wild geese, and within months, the Protestant Parliament in Dublin begins reneging on the concessions that have been made to the Catholic population. John Wyse Nolan bitterly summarizes the history: "We fought for the royal Stuarts that reneged us against the Williamites and they betrayed us. Remember Limerick and the broken treatystone. We gave our best blood to France and Spain, the wild geese. Fontenoy, eh? And Sarsfield and O'Donnell, duke of Tetuan in Spain, and Ulysses Browne of Camus that was fieldmarshal to Maria Teresa. But what did we ever get for it?" (Cyclops). Although laws discriminating against Catholics in Ireland go back at least as far as 1607, particularly harsh regulations collectively known as the "penal laws" (Ithaca) are passed beginning in 1691 and continuing through much of the 18th century. Among them are bans on holding public office, practicing law, intermarrying with Protestants, owning firearms, studying abroad or in Trinity College, owning a horse worth more than £5, buying land under any lease longer than 31 years, inheriting land from Protestants, constructing churches from stone, and wearing the color green.
  • 1700s

  • 1704-1713. In a complex series of military engagements and diplomatic negotiations involving the Spanish, French, Austrians, Dutch, and English, the Rock of Gibraltar becomes a British territory. The Citizen says in his characteristically black-and-white manner that Gibraltar was "grabbed by the foe of mankind" (Cyclops). A century and a half later, Molly Tweedy will be born in this military outpost. She too expresses a simple understanding of the conquest, from her own perspective as the daughter of a British army officer. She remembers Mrs. Rubio's dislike of the British: "she never could get over the Atlantic fleet coming in half the ships of the world and the Union Jack flying with all her carabineros because 4 drunken English sailors took all the rock from them" (Penelope).
  • 1706-1707. Acts of Union are passed in the parliaments of England and Scotland, joining the two kingdoms into a single entity called "the United Kingdom of Great Britain" (Cyclops). The abolition of the Scottish Parliament will provide a model for a similar Act of Union with Ireland in 1800, and the widespread bribing of Scottish legislators in 1707 will also be repeated in 1800. But the 1707 merger will prove to be mutually beneficial, greatly empowering both Scotland and England throughout the 18th century. The Irish experience will be very different, and Irish attitudes toward Union much less universally favorable.
  • 1740. Rule, Britannia!, a patriotic national anthem by English musician Thomas Arne and Scottish poet James Thomson, celebrates the naval power of the newly constituted United Kingdom: Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves. Britons never, never, never will be slaves! The song helps to foster the notion that Britain is "The seas' ruler" (Telemachus). The Citizen drinks "to the undoing of his foes, a race of mighty valorous heroes, rulers of the waves, who sit on thrones of alabaster silent as the deathless gods" (Cyclops).
  • 1756. Construction begins on the Grand Canal, a waterway designed to connect Dublin in the east to the River Shannon in the west. The project is funded by the Irish Parliament, and later by a private venture called The Grand Canal Company, and, to a smaller extent, by the Dublin Corporation, which hopes to use it to improve the city's water supplies. The ambitious and difficult project is not completed until the early years of the 19th century, by which time a rival project, the Royal Canal, has begun its own digging and building. By the time of the novel both canals have outlived their usefulness, their stagnant waters offering little competition to the new railroads; but they remain fixtures of the city, one canal skirting the southern circumference of Dublin and the other the north. Paddy Dignam's funeral procession crosses "The grand canal" at the beginning of its route, soon after departing from Sandymount on the southern side of the Liffey's mouth (Hades). Later in their course, as they near the Prospect Cemetery in Glasnevin, the carriages pass over the "Crossguns bridge: the royal canal. Water rushed roaring through the sluices. A man stood on his dropping barge, between clamps of turf. On the towpath by the lock a slacktethered horse. Aboard of the Bugabu. Their eyes watched him. On the slow weedy waterway he had floated on his raft coastward over Ireland drawn by a haulage rope past beds of reeds, over slime, mudchoked bottles, carrion dogs. Athlone, Mullingar, Moyvalley, I could make a walking tour to see Milly by the canal. [. . .] Dropping down lock by lock to Dublin. With turf from the midland bogs. Salute. He lifted his brown straw hat, saluting Paddy Dignam" (Hades).
  • 1763. The Freeman's Journal, the oldest nationalist newspaper in Dublin and the leading Irish newspaper of the 19th century, is "Established 1763" (Aeolus) by Charles Lucas. In its early years it is associated with "Henry Grattan and [his friend Henry] Flood," leading Protestant politicians of the late 18th century who favored Catholic emancipation and "wrote for this very paper" (Aeolus). Its tone becomes more moderate toward the end of the century, but returns to nationalist positions in the 19th century, particularly in the 1860s and 70s under the ownership of Sir John Gray. In the 1880s it becomes the leading journalistic voice for Charles Stewart Parnell and his Irish Parliamentary Party. Despite the paper's advocacy of nationalist positions for nearly a century and a half, by 1904 it is regarded in some quarters as a safe, stuffy voice of the establishment status quo: "the old woman of Prince's street, says the citizen, the subsidised organ" (Cyclops).
  • 4 July 1776. The American colonies begin their revolt against British rule, inspiring Irish hopes for independence from Great Britain. Later in this year the Continental Congress issues an essentially worthless currency note, inspiring the phrase "not caring a continental" (Eumaeus).
  • 14 July 1789. The French Revolution, which has begun in May, reaches a symbolic milestone with the storming of the Bastille. Professor MacHugh, glancing at the "loose ties" of Stephen and Mr. O'Madden Burke, exclaims, "Paris, past and present . . . You look like communards"; in "quiet mockery," J. J. O'Molloy adds, "Like fellows who had blown up the bastille" (Aeolus). The French example inspires Irish hopes for independence from Great Britain. In the 1790s, Irish rebels emulating the French example will wear their hair cropped very short to distinguish themselves from bewigged aristocratic loyalists. These revolutionary "croppies" are commemorated in the derisive Unionist song "Croppies lie down" (Nestor) and in the sympathetic Catholic song "The croppy boy" (Sirens).
  • 1791-1795. The Society of United Irishmen, a peaceful and nonsectarian movement dedicated to the creation of an Irish Republic, is founded in Ulster in 1791. One of its principal founders is the Protestant leader "Theobald Wolfe Tone" (Cyclops), who is inspired by both the American and French examples and visits both countries on diplomatic missions. In 1793 British authorities declare the United Irishmen to be an illegal organization. As a result, its appeal spreads throughout the island, and its aims begin to shift from constitutional reform to revolution. In 1795, through the diplomatic efforts of Wolfe Tone, the Society begins to seek French military assistance for an Irish insurrection. The first "orange lodges" (Nestor), militantly loyalist Protestant organizations in Ulster, are founded to combat the nationalist movement in 1795, and they turn quickly to violent intimidation of Ulster Catholics. Catholic resisters of the Orangemen's policy of forced expulsions band together in groups called Defenders. On 21 September 1795 a largely unarmed group of Defenders gathers at the orange lodge in Armagh and is massacred by heavily armed Protestants. Stephen thinks, "The lodge of Diamond in Armagh the splendid behung with corpses of papishes" (Nestor).
  • December 1796. In this first year when "the French were on the sea" (Telemachus), the Expédition d'Irlande, commanded by General Lazare Hoche, fails to land at Bantry Bay in very bad weather (and as a result of poor seamanship), dashing Irish revolutionary hopes.
  • 1797. The Anglo-Irish establishment responds to threats of insurrection with a nationwide policy of murders, tortures, and house-burnings, particularly in Ulster where Protestants and Catholics had made common cause against British rule.
  • 1798. A government crackdown on the leaders of the United Irishmen, aided by informants, and the imposition of brutal martial law in March, prompts revolutionaries to wait no longer. The resulting Rebellion or Rising in many parts of the country is uniformly unsuccessful and savagely punished. Echoes of this disaster sound in the pub episode, among them "the brothers Sheares," Henry and John, members of the United Irishmen who were betrayed by informers and reportedly went to their execution hand in hand; "Father John Murphy," a leader in County Wexford who was captured and executed after the battle of Vinegar Hill near Enniscorthy on June 21; and "Henry Joy M'Cracken," a leader of the United Irishmen in Ulster who was likewise captured and executed after leading rebels in County Antrim (Cyclops). The failed Rebellion inspires a slew of ballads that still live on characters' lips in 1904, including "the boys of Wexford / Who fought with heart and hand" (Aeolus); the Shan Van Vocht whom Stephen thinks of as "poor old woman" (Telemachus); Croppies lie down (Nestor); The Croppy Boy (Sirens); and Who fears to speak of ninetyeight? (Cyclops), echoed in Bloom's "Who fears to speak of nineteen four?" (Sirens). Quite late in the insurrection, the French make two more efforts to land troops on the island, two years after their 1796 debacle. The Citizen recalls how "the French were on the sea and landed at Killala" in County Mayo, in August (Cyclops). Their force joins with Irish rebels and enjoys some initial success, but is soon defeated. Another French force attempts to land in County Donegal in October, but is defeated at sea by the Royal Navy. Wolfe Tone, on board one of the ships, is captured. Sentenced to die by hanging, he escapes the gallows in November by slitting his own throat in the Old Provost Marshal's Prison "on Arbour Hill" (Cyclops).
  • 1799. The Irish Parliament votes down the Act of Union, a bill that would create a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and cede control of Irish internal affairs to the British Parliament in Westminster. Mr. Deasy recalls that his ancestor, Sir John Blackwood, "put on his topboots to ride to Dublin from the Ards of Down" to vote "for the union" (Nestor), but in fact Sir John was rushing to Dublin to vote against it.
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times
  • 1800s

  • 1800. After the British government commits bribery on a massive scale, offering peerages to Irish Protestant nobles and gentry who will agree to switch their votes, the Irish Parliament in Dublin passes the Act of Union on the second go, voting itself out of existence and making a "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" (Cyclops). Two years later, in 1802, the parliament building is sold to the Bank of Ireland, and the "huge high door of the Irish house of parliament" (Lestrygonians) no longer signifies entrance into a body of deliberative self-governance. Standing in the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, Ned Lambert remarks that "The old bank of Ireland was over the way till the time of the union" (Wandering Rocks).
  • 18 May 1803. The short-lived Treaty of Amiens collapses, renewing a state of war between Great Britain and France, and the British, under Prime Minister "Billy Pitt," begin building a series of small defensive fortifications called "Martello" towers along the eastern coast of Ireland (Telemachus).
  • 20 September 1803. Robert Emmet, a wealthy Protestant and friend of the late Theobald Wolfe Tone who sympathizes with the plight of Irish Catholics, is executed for high treason in the customary way after laboring to enlist the support of Napoleon for a new Irish rebellion, and making a violent attempt (unsupported by Napoleon or by Emmet's Irish allies) to capture Dublin Castle. The British government ensures a favorable outcome of his trial by buying off Emmet's defense attorney with cash and a pension. The gruesome execution gives Joyce a model for the gruesome execution in Cyclops, and Emmet's last words figure at the end of Sirens ("When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done"). In the cemetery, Bloom thinks, "Robert Emmet was buried here by torchlight, wasn't he?" (Hades). Emmet could not have originally been buried in Prospect Cemetery, because it was not founded until 1832. He was buried near Kilmainham Hospital, but rumors hold that he was disinterred and moved either to St. Michan's church or to Prospect; at the centenary of his death in 1903, the United Irishman ran stories about attempts to locate his final resting place (Giford 124). Tom Kernan too thinks about his burial place: "Down there Emmet was hanged, drawn and quartered. Greasy black rope. Dogs licking the blood off the street when the lord lieutenant's wife drove by in her noddy. Bad times those were. Well, well. Over and done with. Great topers too. Fourbottle men. Let me see. Is he buried in saint Michan's? Or no, there was a midnight burial in Glasnevin. Corpse brought in through a secret door in the wall" (Wandering Rocks).
  • 21 October 1805. At the outset of the Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson's decisive naval victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets off the coast of Spain, his flagship H.M.S. Victory signals a famous message that Buck Mulligan will pervert into a call for a day of drinking: "Ireland expects that every man this day will do his duty" (Telemachus). In Gibraltar, the figurehead of a Spanish ship of the line captured by the British is erected as a statue in the Alameda Gardens and remains until 1884 when decay necessitates its removal; Molly thinks of "the tree where the statue of the fish used to be" (Penelope). Three years after the battle, the colonial rulers of Dublin erect an immense column topped by a statue of Lord Nelson, four decades before the one in London. One hundred years after the battle, Dubliners are still lamenting the British victory: "We are liege subjects of the catholic chivalry of Europe that foundered at Trafalgar" (Aeolus).
  • 24 November 1805. Robert Emmet's fiancée Sarah Curran ("Sara" in the novel) marries a young Englishman, an event represented with characteristic hyperbole in the bar episode: "A most romantic incident occurred when a handsome young Oxford graduate, noted for his chivalry towards the fair sex, stepped forward and, presenting his visiting card, bankbook, and genealogical tree, solicited the hand of the hapless young lady, requesting her to name the day, and was accepted on the spot" (Cyclops).
  • 15 February 1808. Long before Nelson's Column is erected in Trafalgar Square in London (1849), work begins on a foundation stone for "Nelson's pillar" (Hades) in central Dublin, smack in the middle of Sackville Street. The immense granite Doric column that is constructed above it, topped with a statue of Lord Nelson, encloses a spiral staircase to the top, allowing an impressive view of greater Dublin. As Paddy Dignam's funeral procession passes by the pillar, a girl is selling plums to those who are coming to take in the view: "—Eight plums a penny! Eight for a penny! (Hades). In the next chapter, Stephen Dedalus imagines two elderly virgins buying 24 of these plums before they climb to "see the views of Dublin from the top of Nelson's pillar" (Aeolus). By the end of the 19th century the pillar, always controversial, has become widely scorned for its imperialism, its ugliness, and its obstruction of traffic (not only is it in the center of the city's main thoroughfare, but all the city's trams converge on this spot). Stephen's parable of the plums turns it into an immense phallus titillating the two old women, and, by referring to "the statue of the onehandled adulterer" (Aeolus), recalls a episode from Lord Nelson's life that created an immense scandal ca. 1800. (Long after the time of the novel, in 1966, an IRA bomb will destroy the pillar, in a 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising.)
  • 1811. Daniel O'Connell, a lawyer later celebrated as the "Liberator" (Hades) or Emancipator, establishes the Catholic Board, an organization which will agitate for the right of Irish Catholics to sit as members of the Parliament in Westminster. Nearly two decades later, in 1829, Parliament will pass the Roman Catholic Relief Act, allowing Catholics to become MPs.
  • 1830-1835. During the Tithe War, a campaign of mostly nonviolent civil disobendience to protest the compulsory tithes imposed on poor Catholic farmers to support the protestant Church of Ireland, the 1641 "Molly Maguires" are revived, and the name continues to be applied throughout the 19th century to groups that violently intimidate landlords trying to evict tenants from their holdings or otherwise oppose the interests of the rural Catholic populace (Cyclops).
  • 21 February 1832. Prospect Cemetery opens to the public in the north Dublin neighborhood of Glasnevin. Prior to its founding, Catholics have not had cemeteries in which to bury their dead, and 18th century penal laws have imposed stifling limitations on the public performance of Catholic rituals. Since 1823, Daniel O'Connell has agitated for founding a non-denominational cemetery in which both Protestants and Catholics could freely practice their religious observances. The Glasnevin cemetery is that non-denominational institution, though it will quickly become known as the Catholic cemetery. In the novel, a Catholic priest, Father Coffey, performs a service for Patrick Dignam in the "mortuary chapel" while Leopold Bloom looks on skeptically; after the ceremony is over, the Protestant Mr. Kernan, standing at the graveside with Bloom, quietly remarks that "The service of the Irish church, used in Mount Jerome, is simpler, more impressive, I must say" (Hades). Still later, Bloom regards the cemetery's caretaker, John O'Connell, and thinks that he must be related to Daniel: "must be a descendant I suppose who is this used to say he was a queer breedy man" (Hades). Gifford notes "rumors still persistent in Dublin that Daniel O'Connell had a number of illegitimate children" (120).
  • 20 June 1837. "Queen Victoria (born 1820, acceded 1837)" assumes rule of Great Britain (Ithaca). By the time of her death in 1901 the aptly named monarch will have become identified in the popular imagination with the expansion of British imperial power around the globe: "a queen of regal port, scion of the house of Brunswick, Victoria her name, Her Most Excellent Majesty, by grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British dominions beyond the sea, queen, defender of the faith, Empress of India, even she, who bore rule, a victress over many peoples, the wellbeloved, for they knew and loved her from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, the pale, the dark, the ruddy and the ethiop" (Cyclops).
  • 1840. Daniel O'Connell founds the Repeal Association to campaign for parliamentary repeal of the 1800 Act of Union that abolished the Irish Parliament and moved the seat of government to Westminster. It is not true, as Mr. Deasy argues, "that orange lodges agitated for repeal of the union twenty years before O'Connell did" (Nestor).
  • 13 August 1843. Pursuing his campaign for Repeal, O'Connell holds the largest of his so-called monster meetings at the Hill of Tara, NW of Dublin, seat of the ancient High Kings of Ireland. Contemporary estimates of the number of people who come to this meeting to agitate for repealing the Act of Union range from 250,000 to 750,000. Stephen Dedalus thinks of "Hosts at Mullaghmast and Tara of the kings. Miles of ears of porches. The tribune's words howled and scattered to the four winds. A people sheltered within his voice" (Aeolus).
  • 1 October 1843. O'Connell holds his second largest monster meeting at Mullaghmast, SW of Dublin, the other site included in Stephen's thoughts of the "hosts" gathered to hear the great man speak (Aeolus). After the British government bans another planned monster meeting at Clontarf (just north of Dublin and the site of a battle in 1014 in which, according to legend, the Irish King Brian Boru broke Viking power in Ireland), O'Connell accedes to the government's demand in order to avoid bloodshed. The British authorities nevertheless arrest him and sentence him to a year in prison. The House of Lords frees O'Connell in 1844, after only three months of imprisonment, but the 68-year-old man's health has been seriously weakened.
  • 1845-1852. The Great Hunger (an Gorta Mór), a preventable and criminally unprevented disaster, kills over a million Irish people and forces another million to emigrate to America. The total loss will amount to more than one quarter of the 8,000,000 Irish population. The "famine in '46" (Nestor) begins in 1845, when a terrible fungal blight (the worst on record, but others had given governments decades to prepare for such an eventuality) ruins Irish potato crops. Over the next two years the famine is joined by waves of infectious disease and by expulsions of peasants who cannot pay their rents: "They were driven out of house and home in the black 47. Their mudcabins and their shielings by the roadside were laid low by the batteringram and the Times rubbed its hands and told the whitelivered Saxons there would soon be as few Irish in Ireland as redskins in America. Even the Grand Turk sent us his piastres. But the Sassenach tried to starve the nation at home while the land was full of crops that the British hyenas bought and sold in Rio de Janeiro. Ay, they drove out the peasants in hordes. Twenty thousand of them died in the coffinships" (Cyclops). The Citizen overstates the unwillingness of the British government to fund relief efforts, but he is not wrong about the Turkish government being more generous. (Victoria refused the Turks' help because its magnitude shamed her own.) He understates the willingness of some landlords to help their tenants by forgiving their debts (some of them were ruined by their efforts to tide their dependents through the long disaster), but his picture of mass expulsions, homelessness, and emigration is not wrong. His figure of deaths on the transatlantic ships cannot be confirmed, but the appalling conditions on those ships cannot be painted too horrifically. And the British did continue to export crops other than potatoes (even expending huge sums on columns of troops to guard the transportation of these goods to the ports), at a time when other European countries affected by the blight were closing their ports to ensure that people were fed. For many of the millions of peasants who survived on almost nothing but potatoes (and eight pounds per day of the starchy substance were required to maintain life in the average adult), this choice of capitalist profit over public wellbeing constituted a government-imposed death sentence. Or for some, Bloom thinks, an opportunity to convert: "They say they used to give pauper children soup to change to protestants in the time of the potato blight" (Lestrygonians).
  • 1847. His health weakened by his imprisonment, Daniel O'Connell dies in Genoa while returning to Ireland from a pilgrimage to Rome. His body is brought back for burial in the Glasnevin cemetery, beneath a round tower with a "lofty cone" (Hades). But, as Mr. Power recalls, "his heart is buried in Rome" (Hades)—removed from the body and taken to Rome for interment in the church of St. Agatha, the chapel of the Irish College.
  • 1848. During this year of severe famine, the Young Irelander Rebellion or Famine Rebellion joins other revolutions throughout Europe. Among the leaders are William Smith O'Brien, who joined O'Connell's Repeal Association in 1843 but left it to found a more militant group called the Irish Confederation, and James Stephens. The two men attempt to spark an insurrection by attacking a police garrison in County Tipperary. Stephens escapes, but Smith O'Brien is arrested, found guilty of high treason, and sentenced to death. The penalty is later commuted to transportation to Tasmania, and in the 1850s Smith O'Brien is released and returns to Ireland. He is eventually pardoned, and never returns to political activity. Paddy Dignam's funeral cortège passes a statue of "Smith O'Brien," erected in 1869, and Leopold Bloom notices that "Someone has laid a bunch of flowers there. Woman. Must be his death day" (Hades). 16 June 1904 is indeed the 40th anniversary of Smith O'Brien's death in 1864.
  • 1849. Queen Victoria visits "the Irish capital with her husband, the prince consort" (Wandering Rocks). During their visit, she confers on her 9-year-old son Albert Edward the title "earl of Dublin, no less" (Cyclops).
  • 1850s

  • 1852. Fifty Irish MPs in the House of Commons pledge to oppose both dominant parties, reserving their support for whichever one will legislate reforms in Ireland. This "pledgebound party on the floor of the house" (Cyclops) fails to maintain the necessary discipline, but Charles Stewart Parnell will take up the strategy much more successfully in pursuit of Home Rule in the 1880s, enforcing bloc voting through strict party structures (including the new position of whip) which will become a model for modern party politics.
  • 1852. Rudolph Virag (Leopold Bloom's father) and Leopold Virag (his grandfather) sit for a daguerreotype image "in the portrait atelier of their (respectively) 1st and 2nd cousin, Stefan Virag of Szesfehervar, Hungary" (Ithaca). Leopold, the grandson, still has the picture in 1904. In the years leading up to the birth of his own son in 1866, Rudolph will live in "Szombathely, Vienna, Budapest, Milan, London and Dublin" (Ithaca).
  • 1854. Maria Cummins, "author of Mabel Vaughan and other tales," publishes The Lamplighter, about an orphan named Gerty who is adopted by the lamplighter Trueman Flint; Gerty Flint will become the model for Joyce's Gerty MacDowell (Nausicaa).
  • 1857-1858. The Sepoy Rebellion takes place in India, the savage British punishments for which are parodically commemorated in "the stern provostmarshal, lieutenantcolonel Tomkin-Maxwell ffrenchmullan Tomlinson . . . who had blown a considerable number of sepoys from the cannonmouth without flinching" (Cyclops).
  • 17 March 1858. John O'Mahony founds the "fenians" (Nestor) on St. Patrick's Day in New York city, at the same time that James Stephens founds the Irish Republican Brotherhood in Dublin. For the next ten years, the two organizations work hand in hand to achieve a violent overthrow of British power in Ireland. Bloom, not a violent man, thinks with grudging admiration of Stephens' methods for preserving secrets: "James Stephens' idea was the best. He knew them. Circles of ten so that a fellow couldn't round on more than his own ring. Sinn Fein. Back out you get the knife. Hidden hand. Stay in" (Lestrygonians).
  • 1859. Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species, introducing into European discourse the idea of "the survival of the fittest" (Oxen of the Sun). In the 1880s, when Darwin's big idea is still hugely controversial, Bloom will defend it.
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times
  • 1860s

  • 14 December 1861. Queen Victoria's beloved Prince Consort Albert dies, prompting a decades-long show of mourning from the queen. Bloom thinks of "Victoria and Albert," and of the excessive public mourning: "All for a shadow. Consort not even a king" (Hades).
  • 1862. The Dublin Corporation Water Works Committee, chaired by a physician and surgeon named Sir John Gray, lays plans to construct a reservoir to supply fresh clean water to Dublin and its suburbs, by damming the Vartry River at Roundwood in County Wicklow, constructing waterworks below the dam, and piping filtered water to another open reservoir at Stillorgan in the southern suburbs of Dublin. The work is completed by 1868 and contributes immediately to public health in Dublin, improving sanitation and reducing outbreaks of cholera and typhus. Soon after his death in 1875, "Gray's statue" on Sackville Street is erected to honor this and other significant accomplishments; Paddy Dignam's funeral cortège passes by it (Hades). Leopold Bloom later thinks proudly of this project of civic improvement, meditating on how the water flowing from his kitchen tap comes "From Roundwood reservoir in county Wicklow of a cubic capacity of 2400 million gallons, percolating through a subterranean aqueduct of filtre mains of single and double pipeage constructed at an initial plant cost of £5 per linear yard by way of the Dargle, Rathdown, Glen of the Downs and Callowhill to the 26 acre reservoir at Stillorgan, a distance of 22 statute miles, and thence, through a system of relieving tanks, by a gradient of 250 feet to the city boundary at Eustace bridge, upper Leeson street" (Ithaca). At other points in the novel, Bloom thinks of the "fresh Vartry water" in Richie Goulding's glass at the Ormond Hotel (Sirens) and steers Stephen to the cabman's shelter near Butt Bridge, "there being no pump of Vartry water available for their ablutions let alone drinking purposes" (Eumaeus).
  • 1865. A fenian uprising in Ireland is preempted by the arrest of many of its leaders, including those whom the Citizen calls "the old guard": men like John O'Leary, Charles Joseph Kickham, "Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa" (Cyclops), and "J. F. X. O'Brien" (Ithaca). All are rounded up, imprisoned, tried, convicted, and transported.
  • 1865. The peregrinations of Bloom's father Rudolph bring him to London, where he enjoys the city's rich theatrical scene, just as he enjoyed Vienna's. Standing before a poster for a show, Bloom recalls his father's stories of playgoing: "Leah tonight. Mrs Bandmann Palmer. Like to see her again in that. Hamlet she played last night. Male impersonator. Perhaps he was a woman. Why Ophelia committed suicide. Poor papa! How he used to talk of Kate Bateman in that. Outside the Adelphi in London waited all the afternoon to get in. Year before I was born that was: sixtyfive. And Ristori in Vienna. What is this the right name is? By Mosenthal it is. Rachel, is it? No. The scene he was always talking about where the old blind Abraham recognises the voice and puts his fingers on his face" (Lotus Eaters).
  • 1865. Later in this same year, Rudolph Virag has arrived in Dublin and converted to the Church of Ireland (the counterpart of the official Church of England), having been solicited "by the Society for promoting Christianity among the jews" (Ithaca), an organization that still exists at the time of the novel: "Society over the way papa went to for the conversion of poor jews" (Lestrygonians). Rudolph is almost certainly following the same imperative that will prompt his son's conversion to Catholicism: adopting the faith of his wife-to-be. The novel does not mention the date of Rudolph's marriage to Ellen Higgins, but their son Leopold will be born in April or May of 1866.
  • Late April or early May 1866. "Rudolph Virag (subsequently Rudolph Bloom)" and "Ellen Higgins, second daughter of Julius Higgins (born Karoly) and Fanny Higgins (born Hegarty)" (Ithaca), produce a male heir whom they name Leopold, after Rudloph's father. The birth certificate lists the boy as "Leopold Paula Bloom" (Ithaca), a joking allusion to the mistake on Joyce's own birth certificate that dubbed him James Augusta Joyce. The baby is baptised "by the reverend Mr Gilmer Johnston M. A., alone, in the protestant church of Saint Nicholas Without, Coombe" (Ithaca) and he is raised in the Church of Ireland, albeit with frequent reminders of his Jewish heritage. He is "an only child" (Nausicaa), and his father, a "septuagenarian" in 1886 (Ithaca), must be at least 50 years old when Leopold is born. Rudolph will commit suicide in that year, some time after the death of his wife—probably a considerable time, since Bloom has so few memories of her. Bloom thinks of the grave of "Mamma, poor mamma" (Hades), but the novel does not identify the date of her death. Nor does it exactly identify the date of Bloom's birth. The year can be inferred from other dates, e.g. the fact that he wrote his first piece of verse "at the age of 11 in 1877," or the statement that in 1936 "Bloom would be 70" (Ithaca). The day can be roughly estimated from Bloom's memory of how the Phoenix Park murders "took the civilised world by storm, figuratively speaking, early in the eighties, eightyone to be correct, when he was just turned fifteen" (Eumaeus). 1881 is not in fact correct; Bloom makes the same mistake about the year that Myles Crawford makes (perhaps because Joyce himself did?). But it does cohere with the other accounts of Bloom's age (1886 + 15 = 1881), and since the murders took place on May 6, it seems likely that Bloom was born in the first few days of May or the last few days of April. (Gifford does note, however, that another passage in the novel suggests that Bloom is an Aquarius.) He grows up in (and is probably born in) a house at "52 Clanbrassil Street, Dublin" (Ithaca). When the novel takes place in 1904, Bloom is 38 years old.
  • Later in 1866? Bloom's father Rudolph officially changes his name from Virag (Hungarian for flower) to the English equivalent Bloom. At the time of the novel, the son still has a copy of "a local press cutting concerning change of name by deedpoll"; it says, "I, Rudolph Virag, now resident at n° 52 Clanbrassil street, Dublin, formerly of Szombathely in the kingdom of Hungary, hereby give notice that I have assumed and intend henceforth upon all occasions and at all times to be known by the name of Rudolph Bloom" (Ithaca). Dubliners do not allow the family's foreign origins to recede from memory; when asked whether Bloom is related to Bloom the dentist, Martin Cunningham says no, "His name was Virag, the father's name that poisoned himself. He changed it by deedpoll, the father did" (Cyclops). The date of the press cutting is not supplied, and nothing else in the novel suggests when Rudolph may have changed his family name, but presumably he did not wait long after his son's birth to give Leopold a less alienating name.
  • November 1866-February 1867. James Stephens, the Head Centre of the Fenian Society in Ireland, is betrayed by an informer in his organization, arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced; but several days later he is sprung from Dublin's Richmond Gaol by fenians working with guards on the inside, and goes into hiding in Dublin. In February he escapes to America and is elected Head Centre of the Fenians there. Bloom thinks of Stephens' escape from prison: "Turnkey's daughter got him out of Richmond, off from Lusk. Putting up in the Buckingham Palace hotel under their very noses" (Lestrygonians). Stephen too hears from Kevin Egan "How the head centre got away, authentic version. Got up as a young bride, man, veil, orangeblossoms, drove out the road to Malahide. Did, faith" (Proteus). Gifford calls this story "apocryphal" (56).
  • 1867. The long- (but badly-) planned fenian uprising is finally attempted by "the men of sixtyseven" (Cyclops), and is quickly suppressed. In the aftermath, a small fenian group led by Richard O'Sullivan Burke, a colonel in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, attacks a prison van in Manchester, England and frees two fenian leaders. Burke himself is arrested soon after, however, and a new effort is made to rescue him and other fenian leaders from Clerkenwell Prison in London, by blowing up the wall of the prison yard with a barrel of gunpowder during Burke's scheduled exercise time. An informer betrays this plot, and the prison authorities reschedule the exercise time; when the bomb goes off, dozens of Londoners are killed or wounded, but no fenian leaders escape. Stephen thinks of how Kevin Egan (Joyce's avatar for Joseph Casey, one of Burke's accomplices in the Manchester raid and imprisoned with him in Clerkenwell) "prowled with colonel Richard Burke, tanist of his sept, under the walls of Clerkenwell and, crouching, saw a flame of vengeance hurl them upward in the fog" (Proteus).
  • 1869. The Church of Ireland, established by King Henry VIII in 1541 as the official state church, is disestablished by an act of Parliament, unlinking it from the state and relieving Irish subjects of the obligation to support it with tithes. This course of action has been advocated by Sir John Gray, a Protestant admirer of O'Connell and Parnell who owns the Freeman's Journal and serves in Parliament from 1865 until his death in 1875. "Gray's statue" on Sackville Street (Hades), erected soon after his death, honors this nationalist accomplishment as well as the civic accomplishment of constructing a water reservoir for Dublin.
  • 1870s

  • 1870. A movement for Home Rule takes over the baton from the failed fenian movement, beginning a shift of tactics from armed revolution to parliamentary reform. The movement seeks, not to repeal the Act of Union as O'Connell had attempted in the 1840s, but rather to restore a domestic Irish Parliament in Dublin, subordinate to the imperial Parliament in Westminster. At about the same time, efforts are also begun to help poor tenant farmers and to reform or abolish the monstrously unjust landlord system. William Ewart Gladstone—"Grave Gladstone" (Circe)—the British Prime Minister during much of the 1860s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, supports the land reform movement and passes a Landlord & Tenant (Ireland) Act (1870) that soon proves insufficient. Later, in 1885, he will also support a Home Rule bill, seeing it as a way to reconcile Irish nationalism to membership in the United Kingdom. Although Leopold Bloom is only 4 years old when these parliamentary efforts begin, the formation of the Irish National Land League in 1879 keeps them alive well into the 1880s, and he enthusiastically endorses them as a young man. Molly recalls that he "said he was going to stand for a member of Parliament O wasnt I the born fool to believe all his blather about home rule and the land league" (Penelope).
  • 8 September 1870. The future Molly Bloom is born on "8 September 1870" near "the straits of Gibraltar" (Ithaca): "Pride of Calpe's rocky mount, the ravenhaired daughter of Tweedy. There grew she to peerless beauty where loquat and almond scent the air. The gardens of Alameda knew her step: the garths of olives knew and bowed. The chaste spouse of Leopold is she: Marion of the bountiful bosoms" (Cyclops). She is the daughter of a Spanish woman named "Lunita Laredo" (Penelope) who is quite likely unmarried to Molly's father, a British army officer named Brian Tweedy. When the novel takes place in 1904, Marion Tweedy Bloom is 33 years old.
  • 1871. Charles Darwin publishes his second work of evolutionary theory, The Descent of Man, explicitly addressing his unstated implication in The Origin of Species that human beings must have evolved from other life forms, and examining the commonalities between human and animal minds. The book proposes that a "missing link" must have existed between humanity and its simian forbears. In the maternity hospital, Bloom listens to Punch Costello and thinks of "that missing link of creation's chain desiderated by the late ingenious Mr Darwin" (Oxen of the Sun).
  • 1875. Charles Stewart Parnell, a rich Protestant landowner from County Wicklow, is elected to the House of Commons as an MP for Meath who supports Home Rule. He continues to serve in Parliament until his death in 1891, although from 1880 onward he holds a seat for Cork. The novel mentions Bloom's support for "the constitutional agitation of Charles Stewart Parnell (M. P. for Cork City)" (Ithaca). Until the massive scandal that topples him from power in 1889-1890, Parnell's influence over the movement for home rule and land reform steadily increases.
  • 1876. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, visits Gibraltar. Having consulted the Gibraltar Directory and Guide Book, Gifford notes (616) that Molly's memory of when the Prince visited is mistaken: "H R H he was in Gibraltar the year I was born I bet he found lilies there too where he planted the tree he planted more than that in his time he might have planted me too if hed come a bit sooner then I wouldnt be here as I am" (Penelope). Albert Edward was indeed scattering his seed widely in the 60s and 70s.
  • 1877. Leopold Bloom, age 11, submits his first poem to "the Shamrock, a weekly newspaper," in hopes of winning one of "three prizes of 10/-, 5/- and 2/6 respectively" (Ithaca). This detail is one of several ways of determining that Bloom was born in 1866.
  • July-December 1877. In the Russo-Turkish War, a Turkish army resisting the Russian advance into the Balkans digs defensive positions in the small Bulgarian town of Plevna, and is attacked and beseiged by Russian forces that eventually swell to five times the Turks' numbers; after many months of valiant resistance, the Turkish general is forced to surrender. Bloom remembers his father-in-law claiming to have fought in these battles, though it is not clear on which side: "Hard as nails at a bargain, old Tweedy. Yes, sir. At Plevna that was. I rose from the ranks, sir, and I'm proud of it" (Calypso). Molly too recalls these war stories: "Captain Groves and father talking about Rorkes drift and Plevna" (Penelope). Raleigh observes that some European volunteers did support the Turks in their struggle against the Russians, but that it is utterly impossible that the Royal Dublin Fusiliers did so, and that the Russian armies employed only Russians (33-34). Gifford agrees, but he wonders whether Joyce may have placed Tweedy there anyway (71). It seems more likely that, just as Bloom exaggerated his talents and prospects in the course of courting Molly and her father, the father too embellished his personal mythology. Despite his pacifism, Bloom appears to have been a bit taken with Tweedy's militaristic bluster. In his defensive hallucinatory rambles in Nighttown, he justifies his existence to some constables by claiming membership in the Tweedy clan: "My wife, I am the daughter of a most distinguished commander, a gallant upstanding gentleman, what do you call him, Majorgeneral Brian Tweedy, one of Britain's fighting men who helped to win our battles. Got his majority for the heroic defence of Rorke's Drift" (Circe). Prompted for his "Regiment," he replies, "The royal Dublins, boys, the salt of the earth, known the world over. I think I see some old comrades in arms up there among you. The R. D. F." (Circe). In this capacity, it seems, Bloom has defeated the Turks at Plevna (not to mention battling at Ladysmith in the Boer War and Balaclava in the Crimean War): "On this day twenty years ago we overcame the hereditary enemy at Ladysmith. Our howitzers and camel swivel guns played on his lines with telling effect. Half a league onward! They charge! All is lost now! Do we yield? No! We drive them headlong! Lo! We charge! Deploying to the left our light horse swept across the heights of Plevna and, uttering their warcry Bonafide Sabaoth, sabred the Saracen gunners to a man" (Circe). One of the books in Bloom's library, "Hozier's History of the Russo-Turkish War (brown cloth, 2 volumes, with gummed label, Garrison Library, Governor's Parade, Gibraltar, on verso of cover)" (Ithaca), must have belonged to Tweedy.
  • 17 November 1878. U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, whose second term has ended the year before, visits Gibraltar during a world tour. Molly remembers the military salute: "their damn guns bursting and booming all over the shop especially the Queens birthday and throwing everything down in all directions if you didnt open the windows when general Ulysses Grant whoever he was or did supposed to be some great fellow landed off the ship" (Penelope).
  • 1879. The German writer Wilhelm Marr coins the term anti-Semitism in his inflammatory pamphlet The Victory of Judaism over Germanism, inspiring ugly conspiracy theories in a number of European countries. By the time of the novel, they have reached England, as Haines makes clear: "I don't want to see my country fall into the hands of German jews either. That's our national problem, I'm afraid, just now" (Telemachus). Mr Deasy has drunk from the same well: "England is in the hands of the jews. In all the highest places: her finance, her press. And they are the signs of a nation's decay. Wherever they gather they eat up the nation's vital strength. I have seen it coming these years. As sure as we are standing here the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction. Old England is dying" (Nestor).
  • 22 January 1879. In the Zulu War occasioned by the British invasion of Zululand, one hundred British soldiers fight off four thousand Zulu warriors in "the heroic defence of Rorke's Drift" (Circe). Bloom attempts to cultivate favor with two suspicious policemen by asserting that his father-in-law was part of the garrison and performed heroically.
  • 21 October 1879. The Irish National Land League is founded in County Mayo, with Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt prominent among its members. In the 1880s (1885 is specifically mentioned), Leopold Bloom sympathizes with their aims, and in the novel he resents his treatment in Barney Kiernan's pub, considering that he "even was twitted with going a step farther than Michael Davitt in the striking views he at one time inculcated as a backtothelander" (Eumaeus). Parnell and Davitt are closely associated in Bloom's mind, as they are in Dante Riordan's. From his acquaintance with the widow in 1893 and 1894, Bloom recalls "her green and maroon brushes for Charles Stewart Parnell and for Michael Davitt" (Ithaca), first seen in A Portrait of the Artist. In the years following the founding of the Land League, letterwriters agitating for land reform sign their threatening letters to landlords "Rory of the hill" (Cyclops).
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times
  • 1880s

  • 1880. Bloom, age 14, is in "his ultimate year at High School" (Ithaca). Apparently he and his parents have been living in the same house since his birth, since he recalls "walking on a nipping morning from the old house in Clanbrassil street to the high school, his booksatchel on him bandolierwise, and in it a goodly hunk of wheaten loaf, a mother's thought" (Oxen of the Sun). During this year he declares to Percy Apjohn his disbelief in the tenets of "the Irish (protestant) church" in whose bosom he has been raised (his father converted in the year before his birth), and in a pissing contest at school he attains "the point of greatest altitude against the whole concurrent strength of the institution, 210 scholars" (Ithaca).
  • 1882. Bloom advances in young manhood, and Stephen is born; at the time of the novel, he is 22 years old. The older man recalls how in this year he fell and cut his hand, leaving a raised mark on the skin: "That weal there is an accident. Fell and cut it twentytwo years ago. I was sixteen" (Circe). The revelation prompts Stephen to exclaim, "See? Moves to one great goal. I am twentytwo too. Sixteen years ago I twentytwo tumbled, twentytwo years ago he sixteen fell off his hobbyhorse" (Circe). Stephen's fall at age 6 probably refers to his being pushed into the cesspool at Clongowes Wood College (Portrait). Bloom's fall at age 16 probably refers to a time when, in his father's words, he gets "drunk as dog" with some "running chaps" (Bloom says they are called "Harriers, father"), is "challenged [. . .] to a sprint," slips and falls in the mud, and ends up covered in "Mud head to foot. Cut your hand open. Lockjaw. They make you kaputt, Leopoldleben. You watch them chaps" (Circe). It is very likely that Bloom is recalling things that actually happened to him. Ralegh points out that one of Joyce's notesheets for Circe says, "L.B. memory of only spree" (49), and in his hallucinated exchange with his father Bloom says, "Only that once" (Circe). In addition to this experiment with alcohol, Bloom continues the freethinking ways he has shown in 1880. Now politics and science join religion: "To Daniel Magrane and Francis Wade in 1882 during a juvenile friendship (terminated by the premature emigration of the former) he had advocated during nocturnal perambulations the political theory of colonial (e.g. Canadian) expansion and the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin, expounded in The Descent of Man and The Origin of Species" (Ithaca). Bloom's advocacy of imperial retrenchment and of Darwin's bitterly controversial evolutionary biology, at the age of 16, indicates some real maturity.
  • 6 May 1882. A splinter group of fenians called the National Irish Invincibles assassinates two high British officials while they are walking in Phoenix Park. In the newspaper office, Myles Crawford remembers the date correctly but gets the year wrong, saying, "That was in eightyone, sixth of May, time of the invincibles, murder in the Phoenix park, before you were born, I suppose" (Aeolus). If Stephen Dedalus' birthdate is the same as Joyce's, then the murders in fact occurred three months after his birth, not before it. Bloom too pegs his birthdate in 1866 to the (correct) day and (mistaken) year of the murders, saying that they occurred "when he was just turned fifteen" (Eumaeus).
  • 15 August 1882. An immense bronze statue of Daniel O'Connell is unveiled just north of the newly renamed O'Connell Bridge across the Liffey on Sackville Street. On the day of the novel, Paddy Dignam's funeral procession passes "under the hugecloaked Liberator's form" (Hades).
  • 13 February 1883. The leader of the Invincibles who have committed the Phoenix Park murders, James Carey, turns Queen's evidence against his fellow conspirators. Standing in the All Hallows church, Bloom thinks of him planning such an appalling murder while regularly partaking in confession and communion: "That fellow that turned queen's evidence on the invincibles he used to receive the, Carey was his name, the communion every morning. This very church. Peter Carey, yes. No, Peter Claver I am thinking of. Denis Carey. And just imagine that. Wife and six children at home. And plotting that murder all the time" (Lotus Eaters). Later, thinking of government informers, he finally gets Carey's name right: "Never know who you're talking to. Corny Kelleher he has Harvey Duff in his eye. Like that Peter or Denis or James Carey that blew the gaff on the invincibles. Member of the corporation too" (Lestrygonians). Carey was a Dublin city councillor, and by virtue of that office a member of the Dublin Corporation (Gifford 169).
  • May-June 1883. Five of the Phoenix Park conspirators are hanged in Kilmainham Gaol as a result of Carey's testimony. One of the five, "Joe Brady, the invincible," becomes immortalized in the novel as a result of Alf Bergan's lurid interest in the effect that hanging has on "The poor bugger's tool that's being hanged"; according to Bergan, "when they cut him down after the drop it was standing up in their faces like a poker" (Cyclops).
  • 1884-1885. Leopold Bloom, age 18-19, strolls "with Owen Goldberg and Cecil Turnbull at night on public thoroughfares," deep in conversation, and enjoys other conversations "with Percy Apjohn in the evenings, reclined against the wall between Gibraltar villa and Bloomfield house in Crumlin" (Ithaca). During these years he espouses many liberal and radical political positions, including adherence to "the collective and national economic programme advocated by James Fintan Lalor, John Fisher Murray, John Mitchel, J. F. X. O'Brien and others, the agrarian policy of Michael Davitt, [and] the constitutional agitation of Charles Stewart Parnell" (Ithaca).
  • 1885-1886. In the general election of 1885, the Irish Parliamentary Party that Parnell has formed in 1882 wins an overwhelming majority of Irish seats in Parliament (except for a small number of Unionist MPs from Ulster, he has a virtual monopoly), and William Gladstone's Liberal Party suffers losses such that neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives can assemble a ruling majority without Parnell's support. After unsuccessful attempts by both parties to form a government without such support, Gladstone strikes a deal with Parnell. In February 1886, he tells Queen Victoria that he will introduce a Home Rule bill for Ireland which would devolve domestic control to a unicameral assembly (pointedly not a Parliament) in Dublin. He introduces the bill in April, but Conservatives strongly oppose it and in June the measure is defeated 341-311, with the result that Gladstone's government falls and the Conservatives take over. In the summer and fall of 1886 the measure prompts deadly riots in Belfast and Portadown, where Protestants dub the bill Rome Rule. Bloom writes "a sealed prophecy (never unsealed) . . . concerning the consequences of the passing into law of William Ewart Gladstone's Home Rule bill of 1886 (never passed into law)" (Ithaca).
  • 1886. Molly Tweedy performs in her first concert as a singer, "having even made her bow to the public when her years numbered barely sweet sixteen" (Eumaeus).
  • 1886. Richard von Krafft-Ebing publishes his Psychopathia Sexualis, popularizing the notions of sadism and masochism and associating masochism with perversions (impotence, clothes-fetishism, foot-fetishism, coprophilia) that Joyce will attach to Bloom (Circe).
  • 27 June 1886. Leopold Bloom's father, Rudoph, dies in a room of "The Queen's Hotel, Ennis, county Clare," as a result of taking "an overdose of monkshood (aconite)" (Ithaca). Bloom thinks of Rudolph in his melancholic final days: "An old man, widower, unkempt of hair, in bed, with head covered, sighing: an infirm dog, Athos: aconite, resorted to by increasing doses of grains and scruples as a palliative of recrudescent neuralgia: the face in death of a septuagenarian, suicide by poison" (Ithaca). He thinks also of the coroner's inquest: "That afternoon of the inquest. The redlabelled bottle on the table. The room in the hotel with hunting pictures. Stuffy it was. Sunlight through the slats of the Venetian blind. The coroner's sunlit ears, big and hairy. Boots giving evidence. Thought he was asleep first. Then saw like yellow streaks on his face. Had slipped down to the foot of the bed. Verdict: overdose. Death by misadventure. The letter. For my son Leopold" (Hades). Bloom tries to maintain some emotional distance: "Poor papa! Poor man! I'm glad I didn't go into the room to look at his face. That day! O, dear! O, dear! Ffoo! Well, perhaps it was best for him" (Lotus Eaters). He still has the letter, in "an envelope addressed: To My Dear Son Leopold" (Ithaca).
  • 1887. Leopold Bloom, age 21, after a long night of charades at Luke Doyle's house, awaits the dawn "seated on a wall, his gaze turned in the direction of Mizrach, the east" (Ithaca).
  • May 1887. Stephen Dedalus meets Bloom for the first time. Bloom and Molly probably meet for the first time on this same evening, because she is described without a name, and evidently catches Bloom's eye. They are in the garden of Matthew Dillon's house in Roundtown, on "A shaven space of lawn one soft May evening, the wellremembered grove of lilacs at Roundtown, purple and white, fragrant slender spectators of the game" (Oxen of the Sun). The game is lawn bowling, played by men; several women are standing around a tall urn, "Floey, Atty, Tiny and their darker friend [Molly] with I know not what of arresting in her pose then, Our Lady of the Cherries, a comely brace of them pendent from an ear, bringing out the foreign warmth of the skin so daintily against the cool ardent fruit"; and "A lad of four or five in linseywoolsey (blossomtime but there will be cheer in the kindly hearth when ere long the bowls are gathered and hutched) is standing on the urn secured by that circle of girlish fond hands" (Oxen of the Sun). Later in the novel, it becomes clear that Stephen is 5 years old, not 4, on the occasion of this party: he has met Bloom for the first time "in the lilacgarden of Matthew Dillon's house, Medina Villa, Kimmage road, Roundtown, in 1887, in the company of Stephen's mother, Stephen being then of the age of 5 and reluctant to give his hand in salutation" (Ithaca). At the same party, Bloom runs afoul of one John Henry Menton by besting him in a bowling move: "Solicitor, I think. I know his face. Menton, John Henry, solicitor, commissioner for oaths and affidavits. Dignam used to be in his office. Mat Dillon's long ago. Jolly Mat. Convivial evenings. Cold fowl, cigars, the Tantalus glasses. Heart of gold really. Yes, Menton. Got his rag out that evening on the bowling green because I sailed inside him. Pure fluke of mine: the bias. Why he took such a rooted dislike to me. Hate at first sight. Molly and Floey Dillon linked under the lilactree, laughing. Fellow always like that, mortified if women are by" (Hades). Bloom is right about Menton having taken offense, and right about the reason. At the cemetery he is still peeved, though he cannot remember Bloom's name. He does remember Molly: "I haven't seen her for some time. She was a finelooking woman. I danced with her, wait, fifteen seventeen golden years ago, at Mat Dillon's in Roundtown. And a good armful she was" (Hades). Bloom recalls meeting Molly at Mat's: "First night when first I saw her at Mat Dillon's in Terenure. Yellow, black lace she wore. Musical chairs. We two the last. Fate. After her. Fate. Round and round slow. Quick round. We two. All looked. Halt. Down she sat. All ousted looked. Lips laughing. Yellow knees" (Sirens). Gifford notes that by 1904 Roundtown had been renamed Terenure (573).
  • 1888. At some time during this year of the Blooms' courtship, possibly after their marriage, Bloom finds work in Wisdom Hely's, a stationer's shop in Dame Street: "Got the job in Wisdom Hely's year we married" (Lestrygonians).
  • 6 January 1888. On "Old Christmas night" (January 6), games are played at "Georgina Simpson's housewarming": "the Irving Bishop game, finding the pin blindfold and thoughtreading" (Circe). Bloom recalls these games in his hallucinated flirtation with Josie Powell Breen, and she recalls that "You were the lion of the night with your seriocomic recitation" (Circe). Molly recalls this night also. Apparently her involvement with Bloom has already begun, and has interrupted a previous love interest between Bloom and Josie: "I know they were spooning a bit when I came on the scene he was dancing and sitting out with her the night of Georgina Simpsons housewarming and then he wanted to ram it down my neck it was on account of not liking to see her a wallflower" (Penelope).
  • 2 February 1888. Bloom climbs "up into a secure position amid the ramifications of a tree on Northumberland road" to witness a torchlight procession of 20,000 people in favor of Home Rule (Ithaca). Thornton notes that the procession actually took place on 1 February; Joyce altered the date to make it coincide with his sixth birthday. Rallies such as this one reflect the continuing momentum in Ireland for a Home Rule bill, after the defeat in 1886, and the continuing support for Parnell's Irish Parliamentary Party. Parnell meets twice with Gladstone in 1888 and 1889 to work out details of a bill, including a two-day meeting at Gladstone's home in December 1889. His demands are all acceptable to Gladstone, but a bill will not be introduced until 1893.
  • 14 February 1888. On Valentine's Day, Bloom sends Molly Tweedy an "acrostic" poem of adoration, the first letters of its five lines spelling POLDY (Ithaca). As Raleigh observes (91), he may also have anonymously sent a valentine to Josie Powell: "You know I had a soft corner for you. (Gloomily.) 'Twas I sent you that valentine of the dear gazelle" (Circe).
  • Spring 1888. Bloom proposes to Molly on Howth Head, an event which both parties remember with passionate pleasure. Bloom: "Hidden under wild ferns on Howth below us bay sleeping: sky. No sound. The sky. The bay purple by the Lion's head. Green by Drumleck. Yellowgreen towards Sutton. Fields of undersea, the lines faint brown in grass, buried cities. Pillowed on my coat she had her hair, earwigs in the heather scrub my hand under her nape, you'll toss me all. O wonder! Coolsoft with ointments her hand touched me, caressed: her eyes upon me did not turn away. Ravished over her I lay, full lips full open, kissed her mouth. Yum. Softly she gave me in my mouth the seedcake warm and chewed. Mawkish pulp her mouth had mumbled sweetsour of her spittle. Joy: I ate it: joy. Young life, her lips that gave me pouting. Soft, warm, sticky gumjelly lips. Flowers her eyes were, take me, willing eyes. Pebbles fell. She lay still. A goat. No-one. High on Ben Howth rhododendrons a nannygoat walking surefooted, dropping currants. Screened under ferns she laughed warmfolded. Wildly I lay on her, kissed her: eyes, her lips, her stretched neck beating, woman's breasts full in her blouse of nun's veiling, fat nipples upright. Hot I tongued her. She kissed me. I was kissed. All yielding she tossed my hair. Kissed, she kissed me" (Lestrygonians). Molly: "I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes" (Penelope). The novel never specifies the date of this important outing. Gifford judges it to have been September 10, apparently assuming that Bloom and Molly had sex on Howth. Raleigh does not make this assumption; weaving a fragile web of assumptions, he places the proposal in the month of May (94-98). A spring or early summer date coheres better with the fact that Bloom converted to Catholicism before his marriage; if he proposed on September 10, he would have had little time to arrange and complete a course of doctrinal instruction before the wedding on October 8. Such a date also coheres with details of the two parties' reminiscences: their recurrent association of the day with mountain flowers (more rhododendrons bloom in May than in any other month), and the recurrent emphasis on staying warm (lips and seedcake were warm, Molly was "warmfolded" under the ferns, under Bloom, on top of Bloom's "coat").
  • June 1888. On another night at Mat Dillon's, Bloom kisses Molly's shoulder: "Nightstock in Mat Dillon's garden where I kissed her shoulder. Wish I had a full length oilpainting of her then. June that was too I wooed. The year returns. History repeats itself" (Nausicaa).
  • Summer 1888. Bloom renounces the Church of Ireland to which his father had converted in 1865, for the same reason that his father renounced Judaism for the Church of Ireland: to join the faith of his fiancée. Molly is Catholic, and he converts to Catholicism "at the epoch of and with a view to his matrimony in 1888" (Ithaca). Raleigh observes (96-97) that his sacramental entry into the church, at some time before the couple's October 8 marriage, would have itself been preceded by some months of instruction in Catholic doctrine (exactly how many is hard to determine). Assuming that Bloom's proposal of marriage took place in late spring (Raleigh's money is on May), these arrangements with the church would have followed during the summer. At some time before the wedding, perhaps in September, Bloom is re-baptized in the Catholic faith "by the reverend Charles Malone C. C., in the church of the Three Patrons, Rathgar" (Ithaca).
  • 1 September 1888. Mrs. Dante Riordan moves into "the house of Stephen's parents," apparently in the capacity of governess to the Dedalus children (Ithaca). She will remain there, in that capacity, until the end of 1891, when a violent disagreement with Stephen's father prompts her departure.
  • 8 September 1888. Bloom sends Molly flowers on her birthday: "then writing every morning a letter sometimes twice a day I liked the way he made love then he knew the way to take a woman when he sent me the 8 big poppies because mine was the 8th" (Penelope).
  • 10 September 1888. Although the marriage of Leopold Bloom and Marion Tweedy will be officially "consummated" on their wedding day, October 8, it is nevertheless "anticipatorily consummated" on this earlier date (Ithaca). It is quite likely that their daughter Milly is conceived as a result of this first sexual intercourse, since she will be born on June 15 of the following year, just under 40 weeks later.
  • 8 October 1888. Bloom and Molly Tweedy are married "1 calendar month after the 18th anniversary of her birth" (Ithaca) and take up residence in "Pleasants Street: pleasant old times" (Calypso) in the Jewish section of town, not far from Clanbrassil Street where Bloom grew up. At the time the novel takes place, the Blooms are several months away from celebrating their sixteenth wedding anniversary.
  • Early 1889. Molly's belly grows large with Milly, at the same time that the Blooms' friend Mrs. Moisel is expecting: "Funny sight two of them together, their bellies out. Molly and Mrs Moisel. Mothers' meeting" (Lestrygonians).
  • 15 June 1889. Millicent (Milly) Bloom is born to Molly and Leopold (Ithaca), their first child. Bloom recalls the morning of the birth: "Fifteen yesterday. Curious, fifteenth of the month too. Her first birthday away from home. Separation. Remember the summer morning she was born, running to knock up Mrs Thornton in Denzille street. Jolly old woman. Lot of babies she must have helped into the world" (Calypso). If the Blooms are still living in Pleasants Street, he has run at least a mile to get to Denzille Lane.
  • 24 December 1889. Captain William O'Shea files for divorce from his wife Katharine, naming Charles Stewart Parnell as co-respondent because of a long and not unknown adulterous liaison with Katharine. The Captain has been separated from his wife for some years but has not consented to divorce her because of money that she stands to inherit. During this time, Parnell has gone "under several aliases such as Fox and Stewart" (Eumaeus) to cover his comings and goings, but the Captain knows of these subterfuges, and Katharine has borne three children to Parnell. Leopold Bloom projects his own self-deprecating sense of shame onto this notorious adultery: "it was simply a case of the husband not being up to the scratch, with nothing in common between them beyond the name, and then a real man arriving on the scene, strong to the verge of weakness, falling a victim to her siren charms . . . A magnificent specimen of manhood he was truly augmented obviously by gifts of a high order, as compared with the other military supernumerary that is (who was just the usual everyday farewell, my gallant captain kind of an individual in the light dragoons, the 18th hussars to be accurate) and inflammable doubtless (the fallen leader, that is, not the other) in his own peculiar way which she of course, woman, quickly perceived as highly likely to carve his way to fame which he almost bid fair to do till the priests and ministers of the gospel as a whole, his erstwhile staunch adherents, and his beloved evicted tenants for whom he had done yeoman service in the rural parts of the country by taking up the cudgels on their behalf in a way that exceeded their most sanguine expectations, very effectually cooked his matrimonial goose" (Eumaeus). At the time of O'Shea's divorce filing, Parnell has no intuition of the possiblity that the priests, his political allies, and even the wretched Catholic peasants whose lives he has devoted his own to bettering may turn on him. He urges his supporters not to fear the results of the coming trial. In January 1890, political gatherings throughout Ireland pass resolutions of support for their leader.
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times
  • 1890s

  • 15 November 1890. The divorce trial of William and Katharine O'Shea begins. Parnell does not contest the charges against him, because he wants the divorce to be granted so that he can marry the mother of his children. Details of the affair are revealed in open court, causing Bloom to imagine similar humiliating spectacles: "Chorusgirl's romance. Letters read out for breach of promise. From Chickabiddy's owny Mumpsypum. Laughter in court" (Sirens); "Prima facie, I put it to you that there was no attempt at carnally knowing. Intimacy did not occur and the offence complained of by Driscoll, that her virtue was solicited, was not repeated" (Circe). Such vignettes clearly express Bloom's sympathetic identification with Parnell: "Since their names were coupled, though, since he was her declared favourite, where was the particular necessity to proclaim it to the rank and file from the housetops, the fact, namely, that he had shared her bedroom which came out in the witnessbox on oath when a thrill went through the packed court literally electrifying everybody in the shape of witnesses swearing to having witnessed him on such and such a particular date in the act of scrambling out of an upstairs apartment with the assistance of a ladder in night apparel, having gained admittance in the same fashion, a fact the weeklies, addicted to the lubric a little, simply coined shoals of money out of"; "How they were fated to meet and an attachment sprang up between the two so that their names were coupled in the public eye was told in court with letters containing the habitual mushy and compromising expressions, leaving no loophole, to show that they openly cohabited two or three times a week at some wellknown seaside hotel and relations, when the thing ran its normal course, became in due course intimate. Then the decree nisi and the King's proctor tries to show cause why and, he failing to quash it, nisi was made absolute. But as for that the two misdemeanants, wrapped up as they largely were in one another, could safely afford to ignore it as they very largely did till the matter was put in the hands of a solicitor who filed a petition for the party wronged in due course" (Eumaeus). A divorce decree in the O'Shea proceeding is proclaimed on November 17. Gladstone advises Parnell privately, by letter, that he should resign the leadership of his party, but Parnell does not convey this threat to his members and is re-elected on November 25. Gladstone publishes his letter the next day.
  • Late November 1890. Archbishops Thomas Croke and William Walsh of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland intervene in the political controversy over Charles Stewart Parnell's adultery, urging him to resign from the leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Parnell fights back, arguing that religious leaders should not interfere in politics. The archbishops stand their ground, asserting a moral right to intervene, and Irish popular opinion starts to shift. In the cabman's shelter, the inhabitants reduce the arguments to their lowest (i.e., sexual) common denominator: "— That bitch, that English whore, did for him, the shebeen proprietor commented. She put the first nail in his coffin. — Fine lump of a woman all the same, the soi-disant townclerk Henry Campbell remarked, and plenty of her. She loosened many a man's thighs. I seen her picture in a barber's. The husband was a captain or an officer" (Eumaeus). Leopold Bloom thinks, "He made a mistake to fight the priests" (Eumaeus).
  • 1-6 December 1890. MPs angered by Parnell's concealment of the letter from Gladstone attempt to strip him of his leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party. On December 6, in a committee room in the Parliament in Westminster, Parnell thwarts a majority led by Timothy Michael Healy Parnell with a procedural technicality, but the party splits, leaving him in charge of only about one third of his accustomed number of MPs; Bloom thinks of "seventytwo of his trusty henchmen rounding on him with mutual mudslinging" (Eumaeus), and the Citizen mentions one of the deserters, "Martin Murphy, the Bantry jobber" (Cyclops). Bloom thinks of Parnell, "He ought to have done away with himself or lain low for a time after Committee Room No. 15 until he was his old self again with no-one to point a finger at him" (Eumaeus). In Dublin, Matthew Bodkin, the editor of Parnell's newspaper United Ireland, sides with the anti-Parnellites.
  • 10 December 1890. Parnell returns to Dublin, to a hero's welcome, and dismisses Matthew Bodkin from the editorship of United Ireland. That night, anti-Parnellite forces occupy the newspaper offices. On the following day, December 11, Parnellites storm the building and retake United Ireland. Leopold Bloom, still active in liberal/radical political causes, is present at the retaking of the newspaper and meets Parnell in the mêlée: "He saw him once on the auspicious occasion when they broke up the type in the Insuppressible or was it United Ireland, a privilege he keenly appreciated, and, in point of fact, handed him his silk hat when it was knocked off and he said Thank you, excited as he undoubtedly was under his frigid exterior" (Eumaeus). Later in the same chapter, Bloom recalls the same incident in more detail, identifying the newspaper correctly, remembering the breaking up of the typecases, thinking that Parnell looked "palpably altered" but still cut a "commanding figure," and recalling again Parnell's dignified thanks (Eumaeus). Later in December, the anti-Parnellites will found a competing newspaper called the Insuppressible—hence Bloom's confusion about the name.
  • 1891. Parnell dies of pneumonia and assorted other afflictions (casually described in the press as a heart attack) on October 6, after a highly stressful year in which he marries Katharine in a civil ceremony (having failed to obtain a church wedding) and campaigns all over Ireland to sharply mixed receptions. His imprisonment in Kilmainham Gaol in 1882 has left him with permanent infirmities, including rheumatism and kidney disease; in County Kilkenny quicklime is thrown in his eyes; in County Galway he delivers a political address in a driving rainstorm, is soaked to the skin, and falls ill. The rabid puritanical hatred of some of the crowds, recalled by Mr. Casey in the Christmas dinner scene in A Portrait of the Artist—"Priesthunter! The Paris Funds! Mr Fox! Kitty O'Shea!"—is also captured in what a hallucinated mob screams about Bloom: "Lynch him! Roast him! He's as bad as Parnell was. Mr Fox!" (Circe). On October 11, five days after his death in England, Parnell's coffined body is unshipped at Kingstown Harbor and moved to the city hall in Dublin, where it lies in state for several hours before burial in the Glasnevin cemetery. Going to that cemetery, the funeral procession for Paddy Dignam passes the base erected in 1899 for a not-yet-completed monument to the great man, and Bloom thinks: "Foundation stone for Parnell. Breakdown. Heart" (Hades). Some of Parnell's more messianic followers believe that he has not actually died, and will return to lead his people to freedom: "One morning you would open the paper, the cabman affirmed, and read, Return of Parnell" (Eumaeus). Bloom recalls this popular belief: "Dead he wasn't. Simply absconded somewhere. The coffin they brought over was full of stones" (Eumaeus).
  • 29 December 1891. "Mrs Riordan (Dante), a widow of independent means," moves out of the Dedalus household (Ithaca). The departure is undoubtedly a consequence of her titanic argument with Simon Dedalus and Mr. Casey in the Christmas dinner scene narrated in A Portrait, which pits her puritanical religious condemnation of Parnell's adultery against the men's bitter condemnation of the church that denounced him. Her destination appears to be the City Arms Hotel, because the novel indicates that she lives there "during the years 1892, 1893 and 1894" (Ithaca).
  • 1892. The congregation of practicing Jews in Dublin moves its synagogue from its central location to the SE part of town: "they built their synagogue over in Adelaide road" (Wandering Rocks).
  • January 1892. Having met Bloom once at age 5, Stephen meets him again "in the coffeeroom of Breslin's hotel on a rainy Sunday in the January of 1892, in the company of Stephen's father and Stephen's granduncle, Stephen being then 5 years older" (Ithaca). Having declined "to give his hand in salutation" in 1887, he now gives Bloom an "invitation to dinner," without first consulting his father, and, correctly judging the incorrectness of the invitation, an invitation "afterwards seconded by the father," Bloom "Very gratefully, with grateful appreciation, with sincere appreciative gratitude, in appreciatively grateful sincerity of regret," declines the invitation (Ithaca).
  • January 1893. Leopold Bloom contemplates composing "a topical song" on the theme "If Brian Boru could but come back and see old Dublin now," for inclusion in the second performance of the Christmas pantomime Sinbad the Sailor (Ithaca).
  • February 1893. Having become Prime Minister again in August 1892, Gladstone introduces a second Home Rule bill for Ireland, this one calling for a bicameral parliament in Dublin. After months of intense debate the House of Commons approves it on September 1, by a vote of 347-304, but the Lords subsequently veto the measure, 419-41. The bill's defeat can partly be attributed to flaws resulting from Gladstone's secretive method of drafting it, but other factors certainly play a big role. One of the English Conservative leaders, Winston Churchill's father Lord Randolph Churchill, has traveled to Ulster to whip up Unionist sentiment with his anti-Home Rule rallying cry, "For Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right" (Nestor).
  • February 1893. There is a severe cold snap in the winter of early 1893, which Molly remembers well because of an experience with a "greenhouse" or men's public urinal: "theyre always trying to show it to you every time nearly I passed outside the mens greenhouse near the Harcourt street station just to try some fellow or other trying to catch my eye as if it was 1 of the 7 wonders of the world O and the stink of those rotten places the night coming home with Poldy after the Comerfords party oranges and lemonade to make you feel nice and watery I went into 1 of them it was so biting cold I couldnt keep it when was that 93 the canal was frozen" (Penelope). Molly used the greenhouse because no such facilities were provided to women at the time. Although she does not mention the month, February seems likely, because, as Ralegh has noticed, Joyce wrote a letter to his aunt Mrs. William Murray asking, "Do you remember the cold February of 1893. I think you were in Clanbrassil Street. I want to know whether the canal was frozen and if there was any skating" (124). Gifford has tracked down further evidence that the canals froze over in this year, in the form of a 1970 letter from Dublin city commissioner John Garvin (617).
  • March-April 1893. The Blooms conceive their second child, Rudolph. (One can infer the approximate date by counting back from Rudy's birthdate of December 29.) Bloom thinks that it "Must have been that morning in Raymond terrace she was at the window watching the two dogs at it by the wall of the cease to do evil. And the sergeant grinning up. She had that cream gown on with the rip she never stitched. Give us a touch, Poldy. God, I'm dying for it. How life begins" (Hades). The Blooms have moved to Raymond Terrace when Milly was 3: "Three years old she was in front of Molly's dressingtable, just before we left Lombard street west" (Nausicaa). But the move could not have happened in 1892 (Milly turned 3 on 15 June 1892), because we learn that Bloom had long conversations "Once in 1892 and once in 1893 with Julius Mastiansky, on both occasions in the parlour of his (Bloom's) house in Lombard street, west" (Ithaca). So they have probably been in Raymond Terrace for only a short while when Rudy is conceived. Raleigh judges it to be "Sometime before or during March of 1893" (125), and he observes that this move sticks in Molly's mind as the beginning of their endless peregrinations: "God here we are as bad as ever after 16 years how many houses were we in at all Raymond terrace and Ontario terrace and Lombard street and Holles street and he goes about whistling every time were on the run again his huguenots or the frogs march pretending to help the men wth our 4 sticks of furniture and then the City Arms hotel worse and worse" (Penelope).
  • 31 July 1893. Douglas Hyde and others found the Gaelic League to promote speaking of the Irish language, a movement which is very much alive at the time of the novel: "The Gaelic league wants something in Irish" (Scylla and Charybdis). The League's motto, Sinn Féin! Sinn Féin Amháin! (Ourselves! Ourselves alone!) sounds on the lips of the Citizen: "Sinn Fein! says the citizen. Sinn Fein amhain! The friends we love are by our side and the foes we hate before us"; "So then the citizen begins talking about the Irish language and the corporation meeting and all to that and the shoneens that can't speak their own language and Joe chipping in because he stuck someone for a quid and Bloom putting in his old goo with his twopenny stump that he cadged off of Joe and talking about the Gaelic league and the antitreating league and drink, the curse of Ireland" (Cyclops). The Citizen's rabid identification with the movement seems to sour Bloom on it: "Gaelic league spy, sent by that fireeater" (Circe). And he seems to be aware of the radical political and military organization, descendant of the Fenians and ancestor of the Irish Republican Army, that took over the name Sinn Fein: "Circles of ten so that a fellow couldn't round on more than his own ring. Sinn Fein. Back out you get the knife. Hidden hand. Stay in" (Lestrygonians).
  • 16 October 1893. After a summer of drought Dublin's municipal water supply fails, forcing citizens to use "the impotable water of the Grand and Royal canals" (Ithaca). (That water is extremely impotable.) In the novel, some apprehension exists that this history may be repeated, since "from prolonged summer drouth and daily supply of 12 1/2 million gallons the water had fallen below the sill of the overflow weir for which reason the borough surveyor and waterworks engineer, Mr Spencer Harty, C. E., on the instructions of the waterworks committee had prohibited the use of municipal water for purposes other than those of consumption" (Ithaca).
  • November 1893. Bloom is seen "one day in the south city markets buying a tin of Neave's food six weeks before his wife was delivered" (Cyclops). The man who recounts this happening apparently scorns Bloom for his solicitousness toward a pregnant wife. Later in the month, on November 27, the couple enjoy their last "complete carnal intercourse, with ejaculation of semen within the natural female organ" (Ithaca). After the birth and death of their son Rudy they will continue to enjoy some kinds of sexual play, but never normal intercourse, because one of them, almost certainly Bloom, has been traumatized by the loss: "Could never like it again after Rudy" (Lestrygonians). At the time the novel takes place, there remains "a period of 10 years, 5 months and 18 days during which carnal intercourse had been incomplete, without ejaculation of semen within the natural female organ" (Ithaca).
  • 29 December 1893. Rudolph Bloom is born to Molly and Leopold. He will die after only 11 days. The novel notes "the birth on 29 December 1893 of second (and only male) issue, deceased 9 January 1894, aged 11 days" (Ithaca). Had Rudy lived, he would be ten and a half years old at the time the novel takes place. His father remembers the reaction of the midwife, Mrs. Thornton: "She knew from the first poor little Rudy wouldn't live. Well, God is good, sir. She knew at once. He would be eleven now if he had lived" (Calypso).
  • 1893-1894. At some point in 1893 the Blooms move to the City Arms Hotel near "the adjacent Dublin Cattle market on the North Circular road," where Bloom has taken a job as "a clerk in the employment of Joseph Cuffe of 5 Smithfield for the superintendence of sales" (Ithaca). Bloom remembers Mrs. Dowd's communal dining arrangements: "Hate people all round you. City Arms hotel table d'hôte she called it. Soup, joint and sweet. Never know whose thoughts you're chewing" (Lestrygonians). Molly remembers the shared bathroom: "that charming place on the landing always somebody inside praying then leaving all their stinks after them always know who was in there last" (Penelope). While living in this hotel, Bloom assists and attempts to befriend Mrs. Dante Riordan "during parts of the years 1893 and 1894" (Ithaca). Molly thinks scornfully of these attempts to ingratiate himself with a rich widow before she dies, and of the widow's miserliness: "doing his highness to make himself interesting for that old faggot Mrs Riordan that he thought he had a great leg of and she never left us a farthing all for masses for herself and her soul greatest miser ever was [. . .] still I like that in him polite to old women like that" (Penelope). The Nameless One in the pub similarly scorns Bloom's machinations, and adds a reminiscence about Bloom's zany and spectacularly unsuccessful effort to inoculate Mrs. Riordan's newphew against alcoholic excess: "Time they were stopping up in the City Arms pisser Burke told me there was an old one there with a cracked loodheramaun of a nephew and Bloom trying to get the soft side of her doing the mollycoddle playing bézique to come in for a bit of the wampum in her will and not eating meat of a Friday because the old one was always thumping her craw and taking the lout out for a walk. And one time he led him the rounds of Dublin and, by the holy farmer, he never cried crack till he brought him home as drunk as a boiled owl and he said he did it to teach him the evils of alcohol and by herrings, if the three women didn't near roast him, it's a queer story, the old one, Bloom's wife and Mrs O'Dowd that kept the hotel. Jesus, I had to laugh at pisser Burke taking them off chewing the fat. And Bloom with his but don't you see? and but on the other hand. And sure, more be token, the lout I'm told was in Power's after, the blender's, round in Cope street going home footless in a cab five times in the week after drinking his way through all the samples in the bloody establishment" (Cyclops).
  • Later in 1894. Bloom loses his job with Mr. Cuffe as a result of some sort of impropriety, as Molly recalls: "pretending to be mooching about for advertisements when he could have been in Mr Cuffes still only for what he did then sending me to try and patch it up I could have got him promoted there to be the manager he gave me a great mirada once or twice first he was as stiff as the mischief really and truly Mrs Bloom only I felt rotten simply with the old rubbishy dress that I lost the leads out of the tails with no cut in it but theyre coming into fashion again I bought it simply to please him I knew it was no good by the finish" (Penelope). (Cuffe earns a place on Bloom's list of Molly's suitors, apparently as a result of this unsuccessful flirtatious attempt to win her husband's job back.) The Nameless One professes to know what Bloom did wrong: "he was up one time in a knacker's yard. Walking about with his book and pencil here's my head and my heels are coming till Joe Cuffe gave him the order of the boot for giving lip to a grazier. Mister Knowall. Teach your grandmother how to milk ducks" (Cyclops). This was just one of several such employee missteps, Molly thinks: "every time were just getting on right something happens or he puts his big foot in it Thoms and Helys and Mr Cuffes and Drimmies" (Penelope). Bloom recalls the gaffe at Thom's: "Remember about the mistake in the valuation when I was in Thom's" (Nausicaa). He also remembers some suggestions at Hely's that his employer may have regarded as impertinent: "I suggested to him about a transparent showcart with two smart girls sitting inside writing letters, copybooks, envelopes, blottingpaper. I bet that would have caught on. Smart girls writing something catch the eye at once. Everyone dying to know what she's writing. [. . .] Wouldn't have it of course because he didn't think of it himself first. Or the inkbottle I suggested with a false stain of black celluloid. His ideas for ads like Plumtree's potted under the obituaries, cold meat department. You can't lick 'em. What? Our envelopes. Hello, Jones, where are you going? Can't stop, Robinson, I am hastening to purchase the only reliable inkeraser Kansell, sold by Hely's Ltd, 85 Dame street. Well out of that ruck I am" (Lestrygonians).
  • Still later in 1894. Bloom is now working at Thom's, a publisher and printing house, and it seems that he and Molly are again living in Lombard Street. He links these details with several others, including an actual fire that happened on May 4: "How long ago is that? Year Phil Gilligan died. We were in Lombard street west. Wait: was in Thom's. Got the job in Wisdom Hely's year we married. Six years. Ten years ago: ninetyfour he died yes that's right the big fire at Arnott's. Val Dillon was lord mayor. The Glencree dinner. [. . .] Milly was a kiddy then. Molly had that elephantgrey dress with the braided frogs. Mantailored with selfcovered buttons" (Lestrygonians). Bloom thinks of how well the dress became his shapely wife, and then muses, "Happy. Happier then. Snug little room that was with the red wallpaper. Dockrell's, one and ninepence a dozen. Milly's tubbing night. American soap I bought: elderflower. Cosy smell of her bathwater. Funny she looked soaped all over. Shapely too" (Lestrygonians). After the dinner, the Blooms return to Dublin by jaunting car on "a gorgeous winter's night on the Featherbed Mountain," with Bloom pointing out constellations to Chris Callinan on one side and Lenehan bumping up against Molly's "ample curves" on the other, "lost, so to speak, in the milky way" (Wandering Rocks). Molly recalls Lenehan's liberties: "that sponger he was making free with me after the Glencree dinner coming back that long joult over the featherbed mountain after the lord Mayor looking at me with his dirty eyes Val Dillon that big heathen I first noticed him at dessert when I was cracking the nuts with my teeth" (Penelope). If these carefree times are happening on a "winter's night" in 1894, it must be at the end of the year, not in January or February when the Blooms have just lost their infant son. Later in the same episode Bloom thinks, "I was happier then. Or was that I? Or am I now I? Twentyeight I was. She twentythree. When we left Lombard street west something changed. Could never like it again after Rudy. Can't bring back time. Like holding water in your hand" (Lestrygonians).
  • Late 1895 or early 1896. The Blooms are now living in Holles Street. Bloom recalls that Milly woke with a scream of terror one night when she was 6 years old, "in Holles street" (Ithaca). During this period of their marriage Bloom appears to have no regular job, and the couple make ends meet by a variety of expedients. Father Cowley recalls a time when he found a concert outfit for Ben Dollard by searching out the Blooms: "— I knew he was on the rocks, he said. The wife was playing the piano in the coffee palace on Saturdays for a very trifling consideration and who was it gave me the wheeze she was doing the other business? Do you remember? We had to search all Holles street to find them till the chap in Keogh's gave us the number. Remember?" (Sirens). The "business" is used clothing, including "luxurious operacloaks" and "Balldresses, by God, and court dresses"; " What? Any God's quantity of cocked hats and boleros and trunkhose" (Sirens). In addition to the business, Bloom remembers selling Molly's hair for wigs: "Ten bob I got for Molly's combings when we were on the rocks in Holles street" (Nausicaa). He also did the laundry, which provided occasion for some sexual or gender experimentation: "I tried her things on only twice, a small prank, in Holles street. When we were hard up I washed them to save the laundry bill. My own shirts I turned. It was the purest thrift" (Circe). Molly too may be involved in some sexual irregularity during these hard times. The possible innuendo in Father Cowley's asking "who was it gave me the wheeze she was doing the other business?" is followed by Simon Dedalus' ambiguous remark about Molly's clothing business: "Mrs Marion Bloom has left off clothes of all descriptions" (Sirens). Another double entendre follows when Dedalus observes that (by virtue of her parentage) she is a "Daughter of the regiment" (Sirens). Raleigh combines these remarks with other things that Bloom and Molly say to infer that "There is a strong presumption that in these dire days Molly was practising the oldest profession of all" (166).
  • 14 February 1896. Theodor Herzl, a Hungarian Jewish journalist, publishes The Jewish State, in which he argues that assimilation into European nations has not worked; no matter how energetically they labor to be accepted as productive, loyal citizens of the states in which they reside, while maintaining their own social and religious traditions, Jews continue to be regarded as aliens and persecuted. Herzl argues that Jews must convince the great nations of Europe to sponsor an autonomous Jewish state in Palestine. In the novel, the Citizen asks Bloom, "What is your nation if I may ask?," to which Bloom answers, "Ireland. . . . I was born here. Ireland" (Cyclops). The scorn with which his answer is met (the Citizen spits a clot of phlegm onto the floor) rouses Bloom to assert that he too, as much as any Irishman, belongs to a race that is "hated and persecuted." The Citizen's jeering reply, "Are you talking about the new Jerusalem?," alludes to the Zionist movement to found Jewish settlements in Palestine, and perhaps even a Jewish state.
  • 4:46 AM, 21 March 1896. The clock which Matthew Dillon gave to the Blooms as a wedding present in 1888, "A timepiece of striated Connemara marble," stops working (Ithaca).
  • 1897. The Blooms are now living in Ontario Terrace. Bloom recalls that, at the age of 8, Milly again woke up with a cry of terror one night, "in Ontario terrace" (Ithaca). He remembers also another nocturnal event at this residence, "the night he misguidedly brought home a dog (breed unknown) with a lame paw (not that the cases were either identical or the reverse though he had hurt his hand too) to Ontario Terrace as he very distinctly remembered" (Eumaeus). The other "case" is Stephen, whose appearance in the middle of the night, Bloom fears, may please Molly as little as the dog's did. Molly does make the connection: "bringing in his friends to entertain them like the night he walked home with a dog if you please that might have been mad especially Simon Dedalus son his father such a criticiser" (Penelope). And she has another bad memory of these days, of the domestic help: "that slut that Mary we had in Ontario terrace padding out her false bottom to excite him" (Penelope).
  • 1898. On the centenary of Theobald Wolfe Tone's death, a stone slab is laid on the corner of St. Stephen's Green to receive a statue of the great patriot. In June 1904, however, it will still be "the slab where Wolfe Tone's statue was not" (Wandering Rocks). Many nationalists revere his memory (Cyclops, Circe), but Gifford comments that Wolfe Tone's republicanism would have struck many Catholics, and some Protestants, as tantamout to atheism, hence reprehensible.
  • 23 April-12 August 1898. The Spanish-American War gives birth to United States imperial power and hastens the demise of the Spanish empire in the Americas. Leopold Bloom attributes the Spanish defeat and American victory to differences in religious ethos: "But in the economic, not touching religion, domain, the priest spells poverty. Spain again, you saw in the war, compared with goahead America. Turks. It's in the dogma. Because if they didn't believe they'd go straight to heaven when they die they'd try to live better — at least so I think" (Eumaeus).
  • 18 May 1898. Archbishop William J. Walsh of Dublin addresses a letter to the faithful urging them to pray for William Ewart Gladstone on the eve of his death. The former British Prime Minister has advanced Home Rule bills for Ireland and is regarded as sympathetic to Irish Catholics, but he is decidedly not Catholic. Bloom interprets the pastoral letter as an effort to convert Gladstone to Catholicism before he dies, and he then slyly imagines (or perhaps remembers?) the opposite: "Prayers for the conversion of Gladstone they had too when he was almost unconscious. The protestants are the same. Convert Dr William J. Walsh D.D. to the true religion. Save China's millions" (Lotus Eaters).
  • 1899-1902. The Second Boer War pits the military might of the British Empire against the Dutch citizen-soldiers of two south African republics—an unequal contest that the British will eventually win, but not before the determined guerilla tactics of their opponents drive the Brits to round up Boer women and children in concentration camps (a newly coined English term) that result in horrific suffering and death. Stephen Dedalus thinks of "the concentration camp sung by Mr Swinburne . . . Whelps and dams of murderous foes whom none / But we had spared..."; and he alludes scornfully to a wildly popular 1899 poem, "The absentminded beggar," that Rudyard Kipling wrote to raise charitable contributions for soldiers and their families (Scylla and Charybdis). (The poem's chorus, set to stirring music by Sir Arthur Sullivan, runs, "pass the hat for your credit's sake, and pay— pay— pay!") Many Irishmen root for the Boers, sympathizing with their nationalist aspirations and hoping that they will weaken the British imperial machine: "—Up the Boers! —Three cheers for De Wet!" (Lestrygonians); "There would be a fall and the greatest fall in history. The Germans and the Japs were going to have their little lookin, he affirmed. The Boers were the beginning of the end. Brummagem England was toppling already and her downfall would be Ireland, her Achilles heel" (Eumaeus). These subversive sentiments, and English reactions to them, are on display in the altercation between Stephen and the soldiers: "Go it, Harry. Do him one in the eye. He's a proboer"; "What call had the redcoat to strike the gentleman and he under the influence. Let them go and fight the Boers!" (Circe). Leopold Bloom seems skeptical of all the hoopla, and in his hallucinatory defense of himself to policemen in Nighttown he asserts that he fought on the British side: "I'm as staunch a Britisher as you are, sir. I fought with the colours for king and country in the absentminded war under general Gough in the park and was disabled at Spion Kop and Bloemfontein, was mentioned in dispatches. I did all a white man could" (Circe). His wife has a very concrete reason for disliking the Boers: "Gardner going to south Africa where those Boers killed him with their war and fever but they were well beaten all the same" (Penelope). Disease took a terrible toll on British troops.
  • 2 September 1899. Thomas Childs is murdered at 5 Bengal Terrace, Glasnevin, the "last house" in a row of houses passed by Dignam's funeral train as it approaches the cemetery (Hades). A little over a month later, in October, Samuel Childs is tried for the murder of his brother Thomas, and acquitted. We learn that "Seymour Bushe got him off" (Hades). The trial, which Joyce attended (Raleigh 177), is mentioned again later in the novel: "the fratricidal case known as the Childs Murder and rendered memorable by the impassioned plea of Mr Advocate Bushe which secured the acquittal of the wrongfully accused" (Oxen of the Sun).
  • 28 November 1899. Bloom's friend Percy Apjohn, with whom he held long talks in 1885, is "killed in action, Modder River," in the Boer War (Ithaca).
  • 15 December 1899. The Battle of Colenso is fought at the Tugela River in South Africa, in the Boer War. Molly thinks "the lancers O the lancers theyre grand or the Dublins that won Tugela" (Penelope). She is mistaken: the British forces at the Tugela, which included two Irish regiments, suffered over 1,000 casualties, while the Boers had only eight killed and 30 wounded. The British decisively lost this engagement.
  • 18 December 1899. Joseph Chamberlain, an important English politician whose defection doomed Gladstone's Home Rule legislation in 1886, and who now, as Colonial Secretary, strongly supports the British imperialist intervention in South Africa, comes to Dublin to receive an honorary degree from Trinity College. Irish nationalist leaders organize a pro-Boer demonstration to protest the visit, and Leopold Bloom gets "swept along" into it with some "medicals": "That horse policeman the day Joe Chamberlain was given his degree in Trinity he got a run for his money. My word he did! His horse's hoofs clattering after us down Abbey street. Luck I had the presence of mind to dive into Manning's or I was souped" (Lestrygonians).
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times
  • 1900s

  • 12 February 1900. "H. Rumbold, Master Barber," hangs a man named Joe Gann "in Bootle jail" (Cyclops).
  • 1901. The "total population of Ireland according to census returns of 1901" is 4,386,035 (Ithaca). In 1841, before the Great Hunger, it had exceeded 8,000,000. The Citizen, rather generously hypothesizing what the population might have been had the famine not occurred and had pre-famine growth trends continued, exclaims, "Where are our missing twenty millions of Irish should be here today instead of four, our lost tribes?" (Cyclops).
  • 22 January 1901. Queen Victoria dies, and her son "Albert Edward, prince of Wales" (Nestor) becomes King Edward VII.
  • 2-4 February 1901. Honoring her wishes, the body of Queen Victoria is "Drawn on a gun carriage" with full military honors in a public procession, and then laid to rest in the "Frogmore memorial" mausoleum which holds the body of her beloved Prince Albert (Hades).
  • 21 February 1901. T. D. Anderson of Edinburgh sights a supernova in the constellation Perseus. For a time, Gifford notes, it became the brightest star in the northern hemisphere (582). Among other matters astronomical, Bloom lectures to Stephen "of moribund and of nascent new stars such as Nova in 1901" (Ithaca), a topic in which Stephen certainly has some interest, because in his own lecture on Shakesepare he mentions another supernova that was visible from 1572 to 1574.
  • 24 October 1901. At a Trinity College debate, the Irish barrister John F. Taylor gives a speech that Professor MacHugh judges "The finest display of oratory I ever heard" (Aeolus). It concerns the question of whether the Irish language should be revived, and replies to a speech in the negative by Justice "Gerald Fitzgibbon," an Anglo-Irish Conservative (Aeolus). Taylor's speech is never written down, but the Freeman's Journal prints a remembered version of it on 25 October 1901, and MacHugh recalls it from memory on 16 June 1904 (probably with some embellishments by Joyce). It compares Fitzgibbon's scorn for the Irish language to the ancient Egyptians' scorn for the culture and "language of the outlaw" Hebrew nation (Aeolus). This speech is the one section of Ulysses that Joyce chooses to record in 1924.
  • 1902. According to two of Joyce's chronologies, Bloom takes a job at the Freeman's Journal in this year. The third chronology has him beginning work at the paper in 1903.
  • 1902. Bloom runs into his old flame Josie Breen (née Powell), and she is wearing a dress that she will still be wearing in 1904: "Same blue serge dress she had two years ago, the nap bleaching. Seen its best days. Wispish hair over her ears. And that dowdy toque: three old grapes to take the harm out of it. Shabby genteel. She used to be a tasty dresser. Lines round her mouth. Only a year or so older than Molly" (Lestrygonians).
  • 20 April 1902. St. Patrick's Anti-Treating League is founded, seeking to promote alcoholic moderation in Ireland by discouraging the omnipresent practice of bar patrons standing each other to round after round of drinks. It solicits pledges from men not to treat others to intoxicating drinks or to accept them from others, and not to consume intoxicants between meals. In Barney Kiernan's, Bloom is overheard "talking about the Gaelic league and the antitreating league and drink, the curse of Ireland," prompting the nameless narrator to recall a meeting of the league: "And one night I went in with a fellow into one of their musical evenings, song and dance about she could get up on a truss of hay she could my Maureen Lay and there was a fellow with a Ballyhooly blue ribbon badge spiffing out of him in Irish and a lot of colleen bawns going about with temperance beverages and selling medals and oranges and lemonade and a few old dry buns, gob, flahoolagh entertainment, don't be talking. Ireland sober is Ireland free. And then an old fellow starts blowing into his bagpipes and all the gougers shuffling their feet to the tune the old cow died of. And one or two sky pilots having an eye around that there was no goings on with the females, hitting below the belt" (Cyclops).
  • 9 August 1902. The new British monarch, King Edward VII, is crowned in Westminster Abbey and celebratory songs like "Coronation day" are sung in English streets (Telemachus).
  • 1903. According to the fullest of the very brief chronologies that Joyce jotted down about the lives of the Blooms, they move to 7 Eccles Street in this year. Molly laments that "I never brought a bit of salt in even when we moved in the confusion," and she thinks about her husband's grand plans for the building: "musical academy he was going to make on the first floor drawingroom with a brassplate or Blooms private hotel he suggested go and ruin himself altogether the way his father did down in Ennis" (Penelope).
  • 1903. Molly gives her last concert prior to the one planned for June 1904, an event arranged by her husband: "the last concert I sang at where its over a year ago when was it St Teresas hall Clarendon St little chits of missies they have now singing Kathleen Kearney and her like on account of father being in the army and my singing the absentminded beggar and wearing a brooch for Lord Roberts when I had the map of it all and Poldy not Irish enough was it him managed it this time I wouldnt put it past him like he got me on to sing in the Stabat Mater by going around saying he was putting Lead Kindly Light to music" (Penelope).
  • February 1903. A "big wind" (Oxen of the Sun) or "cyclone" (Aeolus) tears through Dublin, felling many trees in Phoenix Park. After the storm, Lady Dudley, the wife of the Earl of Dudley, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, is "walking home through the park to see all the trees that were blown down" and stops "outside the viceregal lodge" to buy a postcard view of Dublin; she instead finds postcards commemorating the Phoenix Park murders of 1882 (Aeolus).
  • 10 April 1903. James Joyce, in Paris, receives a telegram from his father: "MOTHER DYING COME HOME FATHER" (Ellmann 128). He begs a loan from a pupil and leaves Paris for Dublin the next day. Stephen thinks of this telegram as the end of his Columbanus-like mission to the Continent: "Mother dying come home father" (Proteus).
  • 26 June 1903. Mrs. Mary Dedalus, Stephen's mother, is laid to rest in the Glasnevin cemetery. Bloom explains to Stephen that he could not be present at the interment because it was the "vigil of the anniversary of the decease of Rudolph Bloom (born Virag)," and hence he was in Ennis (Ithaca). Joyce's mother actually died in August 1903. He moved the date back two months, from August 1903 to June 1903, just as he moved back the time of his stay in the Sandycove Martello tower, from the fall of 1904 to June 1904.
  • September 1903. Leopold Bloom meets Hugh (Blazes) Boylan for the first time, "in the establishment of George Mesias, merchant tailor and outfitter, 5 Eden Quay" (Ithaca).
  • 15 September 1903. Milly Bloom, daughter of Leopold and Molly, has her first "catamenic hemorrhage," i.e. menstrual period (Ithaca). She is 14 years old.
  • 14-17 October 1903. Mrs. Emily Sinico is "accidentally killed at Sydney Parade railway station, 14 October 1903" (Ithaca). Or, as the story A Painful Case in Dubliners suggests, perhaps she commits suicide by deliberately stepping in front of a train. Three days later she is laid to rest in the Glasnevin cemetery, and since this day Leopold Bloom has retained a one shilling silver coin in "the left lower pocket of his waistcoat" (Ithaca), almost certainly because he does not use his black suit again until the funeral of Paddy Dignam on 16 June 1904. Walking among the gravestones, he thinks, "Last time I was here was Mrs Sinico's funeral" (Hades).
  • 22 November 1903. Pope Pius X issues an edict declaring that women can no longer sing in church choirs. Although Joyce was certainly aware of this fit of misogynistic pique (Kate Morkan criticizes it bitterly in The Dead), Bloom seems not to be in the loop. He thinks of Martin Cunningham, "Sorry I didn't work him about getting Molly into the choir instead of that Father Farley who looked a fool but wasn't" (Lotus Eaters).
  • December 1903. Larry O'Rourke, the owner of the pub near 7 Eccles Street, sends a Christmas present to the Blooms, as Molly recalls: "easy Larry they call him the old mangy parcel he sent at Xmas a cottage cake and a bottle of hogwash he tried to palm off as claret that he couldnt get anyone to drink" (Penelope).
  • Early 1904. Oliver St. John Gogarty, the model for Joyce's Buck Mulligan, spends a term at Oxford University and befriends a young Englishman named Richard Samuel Chenevix Trench, the model for Joyce's Haines. Talking to Stephen on the top of the tower, Mulligan refers to "the oxy chap downstairs" who has reciprocated by paying a visit to Dublin: "He thinks you're not a gentleman. God, these bloody English! Bursting with money and indigestion. Because he comes from Oxford. You know, Dedalus, you have the real Oxford manner. He can't make you out" (Telemachus). Stephen responds, later in the chapter, by imagining a scene in a dormitory room of Magdalen College, Oxford.
  • January 1904. Bloom's savings amount to £18.14.6, according to "a bank passbook issued by the Ulster Bank, College Green branch showing statement of a/c for halfyear ending 31 December 1903" (Ithaca).
  • 8 February 1904. Japan declares war on Russia, several hours after attacking it, and the Russo-Japanese War begins. The action comes after ten years in which both imperialist nations have expanded into Manchuria and Korea, but there seems to be some sentiment in Dublin that "It's the Russians wish to tyrannise" (Cyclops). At the time represented in the novel, Larry O'Rourke is prescient, or at least aware of how battles have gone in the first few months of the war, when he asserts that "The Russians, they'd only be an eight o'clock breakfast for the Japanese" (Calypso). The June 16 Evening Telegraph bears news of a Japanese victory over the Russians on the Liaotung Peninsula.
  • May 1904. An old acquaintance of Molly's dies and Bloom advises her on how to write the letter of condolence: "that poor Nancy Blake died a month ago of acute neumonia well I didnt know her so well as all that she was Floeys friend more than mine poor Nancy its a bother having to answer he always tells me the wrong things and no stops to say like making a speech your sad bereavement symphathy I always make that mistake and newphew with 2 double yous in" (Penelope).
  • 12 May 1904. Bloom weighs himself on "the graduated machine for periodical self-weighing in the premises of Francis Froedman, pharmaceutical chemist of 19 Frederick Street, north," obtaining a measurement of "eleven stone four pounds," or 158 pounds (Ithaca).
  • 21 May 1904. Bloom borrows "The Stark-Munro Letters by A. Conan Doyle" from the City of Dublin Public Library (Ithaca).
  • 22 May 1904. In a boxing tournament that was actually held in late April but that Joyce moved to late May, an Irishman named Keogh knocks out a soldier of the 6th Dragoons named Garry in the third round of their match. Joyce gave Keogh the first name of Myler, and substituted for the British soldier's real name the more English-sounding Percy Bennett, a name which he found attached to the disagreeably militaristic British consul-general in Zurich. On the day of the novel young Patsy Dignam sees an ad for what he at first takes to be an upcoming match between "Myler Keogh, Dublin's pet lamb," and "sergeant-major Bennett, the Portobello bruiser, for a purse of fifty sovereigns, God, that'd be a good pucking match to see. [. . .] When is it? May the twenty-second. Sure, the blooming thing is all over" (Wandering Rocks). Nosey Flynn tells Bloom that the boxing match has been promoted by Blazes Boylan, who has kept Myler Keogh "down in the county Carlow" for a month, working out and staying "off the boose" (Lestrygonians). At the same time, according to Alf Bergan, "to run up the odds" Boylan has spread a rumor that Keogh was "on the beer" and thereby "made a cool hundred quid over it" (Cyclops). Bergan relishes Keogh's superior ringcraft, which allowed "the little kipper " to give the much bigger Bennett "the father and mother of a beating" (Cyclops). In Nighttown, the two British privates indicate their acquaintance with "old Bennett" (Circe). At some point in late May or early June, Boylan takes the Blooms out to dinner with some of his winnings: "the night he gave us the fish supper on account of winning over the boxing match of course it was for me he gave it" (Penelope).
  • 23 May 1904. On this day, "Whitmonday" (a holiday, on the day after Whitsunday), "a bee or bluebottle" stings Bloom in his garden (Calypso) and he visits the nearby Mater Misericordiae hospital to have the wound treated by a young doctor named Dixon (Lestrygonians). Molly has an explanation: "Whit Monday is a cursed day too no wonder that bee bit him" (Penelope).
  • 26 May 1904. Bloom lends Joe Hynes three shillings (3s), a sum which will remain unpaid twenty-one days later.
  • 31 May 1904. The Mirus Bazaar takes place in Sandymount, to raise funds for a hospital. Joyce changes the date to June 16, and adds a viceregal cavalcade.
  • 1 June 1904. Bloom gets paid by the newspaper and uses some of the cash to buy things for Molly: "now garters that much I have the violet pair I wore today thats all he bought me out of the cheque he got on the first O no there was the face lotion I finished the last of yesterday that made my skin like new I told him over and over again get that made up in the same place and dont forget it God only knows whether he did after all . . . and the four paltry handkerchiefs about 6/- in all" (Penelope). Bloom has indeed remembered to order some more of the face lotion on the day of the novel, his next bimonthly payday.
  • 4 June 1904. The Arthur Conan Doyle book which Bloom checked out of the library is due back (Ithaca). On June 16 it is 12-13 days overdue.
  • 7 June 1904. A man drowns in Dublin Bay, and locals expect that his body will "be swept up" by the tide on the day of the novel because "It's nine days today" (Telemachus); a popular superstition holds that a submerged corpse will surface after that interval.
  • 13 June 1904. Paddy Dignam, a Dublin fixture whom Bloom knows only slightly, dies "on Monday" (Lotus Eaters) of "apoplexy" (Oxen of the Sun, Ithaca), possibly indicating a stroke or heart attack. He will be buried on the day of the novel, three days later.
  • 14 June 1904. Coming into the living room to tell Bloom about Dignam's death, Molly catches him writing a letter and correctly suspects that he may have a female pen pal: "its some little bitch or other he got in with somewhere or picked up on the sly if they only knew him as well as I do yes because the day before yesterday he was scribbling something a letter when I came into the front room to show him Dignams death in the paper as if something told me and he covered it up with the blottingpaper pretending to be thinking about business so very probably that was it to somebody who thinks she has a softy in him because all men get a bit like that at his age especially getting on to forty he is now so as to wheedle any money she can out of him no fool like an old fool" (Penelope).
  • 15 June 1904. 1,021 people, mostly German-American women and children from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, die as the steamer General Slocum catches fire on the East River in New York Harbor while transporting members of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran church to a resort on Long Island for a Sunday school picnic. The story is carried in the June 16 Freeman's Journal and Evening Telegraph: "New York disaster. Thousand lives lost" (Eumaeus). Bloom thinks of it with simple compassionate dismay: "All those women and children excursion beanfeast burned and drowned in New York. Holocaust" (Lestrygonians). Father John Conmee and Tom Kernan, by contrast, manage to make some sense of the disaster: "He passed Grogan's the Tobacconist against which newsboards leaned and told of a dreadful catastrophe in New York. In America those things were continually happening. Unfortunate people to die like that, unprepared. Still, an act of perfect contrition"; "Terrible affair that General Slocum explosion. Terrible, terrible! A thousand casualties. And heartrending scenes. Men trampling down women and children. Most brutal thing. What do they say was the cause? Spontaneous combustion. Most scandalous revelation. Not a single lifeboat would float and the firehose all burst. What I can't understand is how the inspectors ever allowed a boat like that ... Now, you're talking straight, Mr Crimmins. You know why? Palm oil. Is that a fact? Without a doubt. Well now, look at that. And America they say is the land of the free. I thought we were bad here" (Wandering Rocks).
  • Evening of 15 June 1904. Buck Mulligan has drinks with another medical student and jokes unsympathetically about Stephen's eccentricities: "That fellow I was with in the Ship last night, said Buck Mulligan, says you have g.p.i. He's up in Dottyville with Conolly Norman. General paralysis of the insane!" (Telemachus).
  • Night of 15 June 1904. Both Bloom and Stephen have dreams infused with flavors of the Near East. Bloom tries to remember his, and then recalls that Molly was wearing a Turkish costume: "I dreamt. What?"; "Dreamt last night? Wait. Something confused. She had red slippers on. Turkish. Wore the breeches. Suppose she does. Would I like her in pyjamas? Damned hard to answer" (Nausicaa). The dream comes to life in the hallucinations of Nighttown—"Beside her mirage of datepalms a handsome woman in Turkish costume stands before him. Opulent curves fill out her scarlet trousers and jacket, slashed with gold"—where its symbolic implications of Molly wearing the pants in the relationship are explored (Circe). But the preceding episode suggests that, since dreams work by contraries, maybe Bloom's indicates his readiness to reassume his masculine prerogative: "he having dreamed tonight a strange fancy of his dame Mrs Moll with red slippers on in a pair of Turkey trunks which is thought by those in ken to be for a change" (Oxen of the Sun). In Stephen's dream, he is invited into a house: "After he woke me last night same dream or was it? Wait. Open hallway. Street of harlots. Remember. Haroun al Raschid. I am almosting it. That man led me, spoke. I was not afraid. The melon he had he held against my face. Smiled: creamfruit smell. That was the rule, said. In. Come. Red carpet spread. You will see who" (Proteus). The dream may predict his encounter with the Mediterranean-looking Bloom, who thinks of walking the streets of near-eastern cities, associates his wife with fruit, invites Stephen into his house, and has a particular interest in introducing Stephen to Molly.
  • 16 June 1904

  • The events of the novel take place on this extraordinary ordinary day when James Joyce first walked out with Nora Barnacle and had his first sexual experience with a woman who was not a prostitute. On this Thursday, Stephen Dedalus decides not to return either to his teaching job in Dalkey or to his residence in Sandycove. Paddy Digman is buried in the Glasnevin cemetery. Cattle and sheep are driven through the streets to the slaughterhouse, probably for export to England, and the Irish cattle traders association holds its weekly meeting at the City Arms Hotel, near the market. A festive cavalcade progresses from the viceregal mansion in Phoenix Park to Sandymount, promoting the Mirus bazaar to raise funds for Mercer's hospital. Leopold Bloom secures an ad for his newspaper. News arrives of a great Japanese defeat of the Russians, of a disastrous fire on a steamship in New York Harbor, of a dark horse winning the Gold Cup in England. Molly Bloom begins an affair with Hugh (Blazes) Boylan. Stephen Dedalus is knocked unconscious by a British soldier. Most people in Dublin eventually go to sleep.
  • Ca. 8:00 AM. According to the two charts that Joyce gave to friends (the Linati schema given to Carlo Linati in 1920, and the Gilbert schema given to Stuart Gilbert, Valery Larbaud, and Sylvia Beach in 1921), Telemachus begins at 8:00 in Sandycove, with Buck Mulligan's ascent to the roof of the Martello Tower. Simultaneously, the action of Calypso begins in Dublin with Leopold Bloom's puttering about his kitchen. Both episodes narrate the making and partaking of breakfast. Telemachus ends about an hour later with a swim in the ocean, Calypso with a defecation.
  • 8:15 AM. The twice-daily mailboat to Holyhead in NW Wales slips its moorings, as we know from published schedules that were adhered to rigorously. Several minutes later, Stephen watches it from the top of the tower: "Stephen stood up and went over to the parapet. Leaning on it he looked down on the water and on the mailboat clearing the harbourmouth of Kingstown" (Telemachus).
  • Ca. 9:00 AM. Stephen Dedalus begins teaching his class of boys at Mr. Deasy's school, and Bloom begins walking the streets of Dublin after leaving his home for the day—according to the Linati schema. The Gilbert schema suggests instead that Nestor and Lotus Eaters both begin at 10:00. If one tries to reconstruct unnarrated events in imagination, 9:00 seems a more credible beginning for Bloom's meanderings, since at the end of Lotus Eaters he is thinking about taking a bath, and we learn later in the novel that he has done so. He needs at least some of the time between 10 and 11 to visit the Turkish baths before joining the funeral procession in Hades. On the other hand, 9:00 may not be exactly credible for the beginning of Nestor, since Stephen needs time to walk the couple of miles from the Sandycove tower to the school in Dalkey before beginning the day's lessons. Like much else in the schemas, Joyce's even divisions of time probably should not be taken too seriously.
  • 11:00 AM. Having thought earlier, "At eleven it is. Time enough" (Lotus Eaters), Bloom now joins several other Dubliners in a cab that makes up one part of a funeral procession going to the Prospect Cemetery in Glasnevin to bury Paddy Dignam. Hades ends about an hour later, with the funeral concluded and the men preparing to leave the cemetery. Stephen's place in this segment of the parallel movement of the book's first six chapters (Telemachus/Calypso, Nestor/Lotus Eaters, Proteus/Hades) is less clear. The Linati schema indicates that his wanderings on the Sandymount tidal flats take place 10-11, while the Gilbert schema says that they begin at 11. The Gilbert time is made credible by the fact that, soon after the procession begins from Dignam's house in Sandymount, Bloom spots Stephen through the window of his carriage. It seems more likely that Stephen is just beginning his stroll, from the streets of Sandymount, because Proteus seems to end with him still out on the tidal flats. And near the end of the chapter, Stephen thinks, "Pan's hour, the faunal noon" (Proteus). On the other hand, at the very end of the chapter, Stephen sees a "threemaster" coasting into harbor on the incoming tide, "her sails brailed up on the crosstrees" (Proteus). This fixes the time fairly exactly, because a sailor on that ship will recall, "We come up this morning eleven o'clock. The threemaster Rosevean from Bridgwater with bricks" (Eumaeus).
  • Ca. 12:00 PM. Bloom darts in and out of the offices of the Freeman's Journal and Evening Telegraph, working on securing payment for an ad. It is payday at the newspaper, as he reminds Joe Hynes in hopes of having his 3s repaid; but Hynes only thanks Bloom for the information, without repaying him. During the rest of the hour represented in Aeolus, Stephen makes up one of the garrulous hangers-on in the editor's office. An actual event of the day becomes attached to him when J. J. O'Molloy asks him and Mr. O'Madden Burke, "was it you shot the lord lieutenant of Finland between you? You look as though you had done the deed. General Bobrikoff" (Aeolus). The assassination he refers to has taken place at 11:00 Helsinki time, which is two hours ahead of Dublin time. The news has reached the newspaper office in the interval.
  • 12:42 PM. High tide arrives in Dublin Bay, according to tide tables consulted by Gifford, and confirmed by a boatman's statement that "the tide comes in about one" (Telemachus).
  • Ca. 1:00 PM. Bloom wanders through the streets of Dublin in search of lunch, which he eventually finds in Davy Byrne's pub. While there, he looks up at a clock and thinks that the hour for Molly's assignation with Boylan has not yet arrived: "He raised his eyes and met the stare of a bilious clock. Two. Pub clock five minutes fast. Time going on. Hands moving. Two. Not yet" (Lestrygonians). Some minutes after 2:00, he arrives at the opposed entrances of the National Museum and the National Library, having narrowly dodged an encounter with Boylan. Stephen does not appear in this episode, but Bloom's journey has brought him to the place where Stephen is delivering the talk that will dominate the next chapter.
  • Ca. 2:00 PM. We meet Stephen again, already launched on delivering his semi-impromptu monologue on Shakespeare's life and works to a small audience of writers and intellectuals in the National Library. Scylla and Charybdis appears to begin a short while before Lestrygonians ends, because a good deal of the monologue elapses before Bloom shows up in the library to find an ad in an old newspaper. At the end of the episode he literally crosses paths with Stephen, who is leaving the library in the company of Buck Mulligan.
  • Ca. 3:00 PM. Stephen and Bloom join a large cast of other peripatetic Dubliners wandering through the streets of Dublin, conducting various kinds of business and pleasure. At the end of Wandering Rocks, attention shifts to a procession of horsedrawn carriages which has been making its own way through the streets, from the viceregal mansion on the NW edge of Dublin to the SE suburb of Sandymount (more or less the reverse of the funeral procession in Hades). Offstage, another horse-centered event is taking place on the racecourse at Ascot Heath, just W of London.
  • 3:08 PM. In the Gold Cup, a big annual race in England, a 20-to-1 longshot named Throwaway wins the prize. The news will be reported in the late edition of the Evening Telegraph (Eumaeus), but long before then scores of betting Dubliners will have learned of their losses, and a rumor will circulate that Bloom has placed a bet on the dark horse (Cyclops).
  • Ca. 4:00 PM. Bloom meets Richie Goulding in the streets and decides to join him for an early dinner at the Ormond Hotel, whose dining room adjoins a bar with a piano where Simon Dedalus and Ben Dollard will give moving renditions of an operatic aria and an Irish song. Shortly before Bloom enters the dining room, Blazes Boylan enters the bar to have a drink with his friend Lenehan. Bloom sees him and wonders why he is keeping his wife waiting, since Molly has apparently told Bloom that the appointment with her concert manager is "At four" (Sirens). At the end of the episode, about an hour later, Bloom is again in the streets, looking at an image of Robert Emmet in a shop window. Stephen does not appear in this episode or in the next two.
  • Ca. 4:30 PM. After downing a sloe gin at the Ormond Hotel bar, Blazes Boylan gets into a carriage to go to his assignation with Bloom's wife.
  • Ca. 5:00 PM. The unnamed narrator of Cyclops meets Joe Hynes on the street, and the two of them retire to Barney Kiernan's pub for drinks with the xenophobic Citizen. Bloom enters the pub somewhat later, looking for Martin Cunningham, with whom he has agreed to do something to help the widow and children of the late Patrick Dignam. The episode ends about an hour later, with Cunningham helping Bloom to escape the murderous wrath of an enraged Citizen.
  • 6-8 PM. For two hours, there is a blank space in the novel. At the end of these two hours, Bloom appears on the strand at Sandymount. Reconstructing what the novel does not narrate, it appears that he has been visiting the widow of Patrick Dignam, in her Sandymount home, to offer financial assistance while the family waits for Dignam's heavily mortgaged life insurance policy to begin supporting them.
  • Ca. 8:00 PM. Twilight begins on Sandymount Strand, with Gerty MacDowell occupied in romantic thoughts while her two friends tend to small children. It becomes apparent that Gerty has a mysterious admirer, and Cissy Caffrey boldly goes up to him to request the time, since the children have to be in early: "Cissy said to excuse her would he mind please telling her what was the right time and Gerty could see him taking out his watch, listening to it and looking up and clearing his throat and he said he was very sorry his watch was stopped but he thought it must be after eight because the sun was set" (Nausicaa). The chapter ends with a solitary Leopold Bloom drifting into, or near to, sleep after the women have departed. A clock on the mantelpiece of the house where three priests are taking tea after the evening service chirps out the time: "Cuckoo. Cuckoo. Cuckoo. . . . Cuckoo. Cuckoo. Cuckoo. . . . Cuckoo. Cuckoo. Cuckoo."
  • Ca. 10:00 PM. Stephen Dedalus is drinking with medical students at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street. Their talk is raucous; evidently the drinking has already been going on for a while. Leopold Bloom arrives at the hospital seeking news about Mina Purefoy's protracted labor. Buck Mulligan arrives after having attended a literary soirée at George Moore's house. Near the end of Oxen of the Sun, all the men spill into the street in search of more drinks, before closing time at Burke's pub. At the episode's conclusion, they disperse into the streets one more time, bound for separate destinations. It is not clear whether one hour has passed during this episode, or two; Joyce's schemas disagree, as is perhaps appropriate to the state of extreme inebriation which most of the party have attained.
  • Ca. 11:00 PM or midnight. At one hour or the other, depending on which of Joyce's two schemas one credits, Stephen and Bloom make their way into "Nighttown," Dublin's red light district (Circe). The episode ends perhaps an hour later, as Bloom leads his young charge away from murderous soldiers and a suspicious policeman.
  • Ca. 12:00 or 1:00 AM. Stephen and Bloom leave the red light district and make for a cabman's shelter to get coffee and a roll. Eumaeus ends about an hour later, with Bloom guiding the unsteady Stephen through the streets toward his house.
  • Ca. 1:00 or 2:00 AM, 17 June 1904. Friday begins somewhere in the hallucinogenic ecstasy of the brothel or the shattered dullness of the cabman's shelter. The two men leave the shelter and make for Bloom's house in Eccles Street. Ithaca ends about an hour later, after Bloom, having said goodbye to his new friend and ascended to his bedroom, falls asleep next to his wife.
  • The Gilbert schema lists no time for Penelope, and the Linati schema supplies a horizontal 8, the lemniscate symbol of infinity in mathematics. Molly has a tenuous connection to time. She cannot remember exactly how old she is, and her insomniac cogitations jump between the recent and the distant past with the arrowlike instantaneousness of Dante's Paradiso.
  • Ancient times, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s
  • 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 16 June 1904, Future times
  • Future Times

  • 17 June 1904. "The Gordon Bennett" automobile rally, a road race staged annually in various Europoean locales beginning in 1900, is held near Frankfurt, Germany (Hades, Eumaeus). Characters in the book think of the upcoming race because, in 1903, the event was held in Ireland.
  • 25 June 1904. In a concert tour being arranged by Blazes Boylan, Molly will "sing at a swagger affair in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on the twenty-fifth" (Lotus-Eaters). Bloom decides that he "won't go," because (among other reasons) he would have to leave quickly after the concert in order to be present at his father's graveside on the anniversary of his death on 27 June 1886: "Race there, race back to Ennis. Let him" (Nausicaa). Molly is not altogether displeased by the scheduling conflict: "then this day week were to go to Belfast just as well he has to go to Ennis his fathers anniversary the 27th it wouldnt be pleasant if he did suppose our rooms at the hotel were beside each other and any fooling went on in the new bed I couldnt tell him to stop and not bother me with him in the next room or perhaps some protestant clergyman with a cough knocking on the wall then hed never believe the next day we didnt do something its all very well a husband but you cant fool a lover after me telling him we never did anything of course he didnt believe me no its better hes going where he is" (Penelope).
  • 6 May 1905. Tom Rochford participates in an effort to rescue a sewer worker overcome by gas beneath the streets of Dublin. In addition to moving the date of the event back to the time of the novel, Joyce magnified his friend's involvement into "The act of a hero" (Wandering Rocks).
  • Summer 1905. The Zionist settlement that Bloom sees promoted as "Agendath Netaim" in the butcher's shop becomes a reality, establishing a "model farm at Kinnereth on the lakeshore of Tiberias" (Calypso). The project offers "to save the prospective settler the initial hardships involved in setting up a farm by itself buying land, developing it, and planting trees for him" (Hyman, quoted in Gifford, 74). Within the next few years, The Palestine Land Development Company founds some of the earliest kibbutzim on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. At the time of his death on 3 July 1904, Theodor Herzl had not succeeded in his energetic efforts to persuade Turkey and the great powers of Europe to recognize an autonomous Jewish state in Palestine. But he had successfully set in motion plans to found Jewish settlements in the Ottoman-controlled lands of Palestine: "To purchase vast sandy tracts from Turkish government and plant" with various kinds of crops (Calypso).
  • 1906. Joe Hynes' prediction that Dubliners will "Soon be calling" Joseph Patrick Nannetti "my lord mayor" (Aeolus) proves prophetic. Nannetti holds the post for two years, until 1908.
  • 1911. The "Foundation stone for Parnell" (Hades) at the north end of Sackville Street, unoccupied since 1899, finally receives a statue, executed by the great American sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens.
  • 1913. William "Martin Murphy, the Bantry jobber" (Cyclops) perhaps earns part of his minor opprobrium in the novel by setting himself up as an opponent of the workers during the Dublin strike of this year, the most severe and contentious labor dispute in Irish history. A successful businessman, Murphy was known to be kind in his private life, but his workers labored in appalling conditions, and he was strongly opposed to unions.
  • June 1914. James Joyce publishes Dubliners, after submitting the manuscript 18 times to 15 publishers. Although the collection of stories had been substantially complete for most of the intervening ten years, its publication date corresponds to Buck Mulligan's mocking observation that Stephen Dedalus says he "is going to write something in ten years," and it obliquely confirms Haines' answering affirmation: "Seems a long way off . . . Still, I shouldn't wonder if he did after all" (Wandering Rocks).
  • 28 July 1914. A "European conflagration" erupts (Nestor). The experience of the Great War, it has been argued, is recognizable in Stephen Dedalus' meditation on the "slush and uproar of battles, the frozen deathspew of the slain, a shout of spearspikes baited with men's bloodied guts" (Nestor).
  • 24 April-29 April 1916.With the British heavily engaged in World War I, a group of Irish nationalists mounts the most ambitious uprising since the 1798 rebellion, seizing the General Post Office and other key Dublin sites and proclaiming an independent Irish republic. After a week of fighting, the Easter Rising is suppressed and its leaders arrested; fifteen of them are soon court-martialed and shot. The most famous of the leaders, Padraig Pearse, who was declared President of the provisional republican government, taught a weekly class in the Irish language in 1898-99 that briefly numbered James Joyce among its pupils. The novel makes no explicit reference to Pearse or to the Rising, although some scholars have claimed to discover subtle allusions, for instance in Stephen's smashing of the chandelier and his decking by British soldiers (Circe).
  • 29 December 1916. Joyce publishes A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, after serial publication in The Egoist. He acknowledges this future assistance in a play on words when Stepen thinks, after admitting that he does not "believe" his own Shakespeare theory, "I believe, O Lord, help my unbelief. That is, help me to believe or help me to unbelieve? Who helps to believe? Egomen. Who to unbelieve? Other chap" (Scylla and Charybdis).
  • 10 March 1917. Two months after the publication of A Portrait, The New Republic publishes a review by H. G. Wells that criticizes the author's attention to bodily functions: "Like Swift and another living Irish writer, Mr. Joyce has a cloacal obsession. He would bring back into the general picture of life aspects which modern drainage and modern decorum have taken out of ordinary intercourse and conversation." Never one to forget a slight, and no doubt amused by Wells' belief that "modern drainage" has altered "the general picture of life," Joyce found a way to turn the Englishman's chauvinistic language back upon his repressive kind, during Professor MacHugh's rant against the Romans: "What was their civilisation? Vast, I allow: but vile. Cloacae: sewers. The Jews in the wilderness and on the mountaintop said: It is meet to be here. Let us build an altar to Jehovah. The Roman, like the Englishman who follows in his footsteps, brought to every new shore on which he set his foot (on our shore he never set it) only his cloacal obsession. He gazed about him in his toga and he said: It is meet to be here. Let us construct a watercloset" (Aeolus).
  • 2 February 1922. Ulysses is published on James Joyce's 40th birthday.
  • Works Cited:

Don Gifford with Robert Seidman, Ulysses Annotated: Notes for Ulysses, 2nd. ed. (University of California Press, 1988).

John Henry Raleigh, The Chronicle of Leopold and Molly Bloom: Ulysses as Narrative (University of California Press, 1977).

Weldon Thornton, Allusions in Ulysses: An Annotated List, 2nd ed. (University of North Carolina Press, 1968).

Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 1982).