The stories in this collection were written by a man in his early twenties. James Joyce, at the time, had just left the University -- not Dublin University, which is Protestant and with affinities with Oxford or with Harvard, but University College which had affinities with the Catholic Universities of the Continent, Louvain or Salamanca. He had been in Paris where he had studied for a short while, but at the time he was writing these stories he did little more than frequent the National Library and walk the streets of Dublin. He had written in prose and verse, but one could conceive of his becoming a scientist or a musician.
About 1905 the book was completed and it was accepted by a London publisher. And then, instead of publication according to contract, there ensued a series of attempts at having the book suppressed.
Messrs. Grant Richards, the London publishers, after having held it for a year returned the manuscript to the author with a refusal to publish it. The manuscript then went to Dublin publishers, Messrs. Maunsel. A contract binding them to . . .