James Joyce and Heraldry

by panamericanas

James Joyce & Heraldry

Joyce scholarship is compelling because it is a process of untangling rather opaque riddles and attempting to provide as many solutions as possible. After years of reading Joyce I hadn’t thought for a moment that heraldry might be of any significance, but I found this book by Michael J. O’Shea and it provided me a new way of looking. Published by SUNY Press in 1986, it combs through Joyce’s corpus to demonstrate that heraldry is an essential key to the symbols therein. Full of heraldic language and illustrations, the book provides the reader with a history of heraldry in literature and is exhaustive in its presentation of how heraldry functions in Joyce. I look forward to acquiring a copy of David Gordon Butler’s Bishop John Strachan and Heraldry in the University of Trinity College, Toronto (Stratford Herald Publishing) and reading it in tandem with O’Shea because I’m certain they will compliment each other in a manner befitting the subject.