Dame's school

When Bloom contemplates children's games in Lotus Eaters he thinks, "And once I played marbles when I went to that old dame's school. She liked mignonette. Mrs Ellis's. And Mr?" This cryptic recollection comes into sharper focus in Ithaca, which glances at Bloom's educational history of having attended "a dame's school" and later confirms that he was a "pupil of Mrs Ellis's juvenile school." Dame's schools (or dame schools) were independent British schools for young children, typically run by women from their own homes. Joyce's inclusion of this detail seems significant chiefly for suggesting that Bloom did not enjoy many educational advantages in early childhood.

John Hunt 2022

A Dame's School, 1845 oil painting by Thomas Webster held in the Tate Gallery, London. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Photograph of a dame's school in East Anglia from the 1887 book Pictures from Life in Field and Fen, held in the National Media Museum. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Some antique blue and white lace in the lightweight mignonette style.
Source: www.etsy.com.

Source: me.me.