Prospectus for the First Edition of Ulysses

Soliciting subscriptions for Ulysses was imperative for Sylvia Beach to finance the hefty publication. This approach also designated the book a “private edition,” which diminished legal risks. Customers could order one of three versions, priced according to the fineness of their paper; the most expensive version was signed by Joyce. In 1921 and 1922 Beach printed hundreds of circulars such as this one and mailed them to individuals and bookshops around the world. Her forecast of a six-hundred-page book to be published in autumn 1921 proved optimistic. After the novel appeared on 2 February 1922, Beach annotated this circular accordingly: Ulysses was “now ready,” and the page count was 732.

Subscribers' bulletin for Ulysses by James Joyce
Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [1921]
The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Sean and Mary Kelly, 2018: PML 197831-32