Sylvia Beach

Sylvia Beach (1887–1962) grew up in Baltimore, Paris, and Princeton, settling permanently in France in 1916. She opened Shakespeare and Company, an English-language bookshop in Paris, in 1919. In February 1921 she began helping Joyce find typists for Ulysses and, by April, agreed to bring out the novel herself. Beach published the book eight times between 1924 and 1930, reportedly selling twenty-eight thousand copies. As a US citizen, Beach was briefly interned during the German occupation of France in 1941, the year Joyce died, and her shop never reopened. In her later years, Beach gave George Whitman her blessing to change his bookstore’s name to Shakespeare and Company, which remains in business today.

Paul-Émile Bécat (1885–1960), Portrait of Sylvia Beach, 1923. Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library.