Old Mrs Thornton

The midwife who delivered the Blooms' children, "Mrs Thornton in Denzille street," is named for an actual Mrs. Thornton who lived on that street and delivered several of Joyce's siblings. In Circe she appears dressed in a "nursetender's gown," suggesting that Molly gave birth in what Bloom in Hades and Josie Breen in Lestrygonians call "the lying-in hospital"—an expression that reflects the old medical view that women should lie immobile for a considerable time after giving birth.

John Hunt 2018

Midwives in a British maternity ward of the late 19th or early 20th century, location and date unknown. Source: www.rcog.org.uk.

Another maternity ward of the time period, location and date unknown. Source: www.fitpregnancy.com.com.

Detail of map of Dublin made for Thom's Almanac, showing the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street (blue) and Denzille Street (red). Source: digital.ucd.ie.