Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Stanislaus Joyce (4 July 1849-29 December 1931) was the father of writer James Joyce, and a well known Dublin man about town. The son of James and Ellen (née O'Connell) Joyce, John Joyce grew up in Cork, where his mother's family, which claimed kinship to "Liberator" Daniel O'Connell, was quite prominent.
Following his father's death in 1866, John Joyce inherited a significant amount of property around Cork, but soon after he moved to Dublin, where he worked for several years as secretary at a distillery company. He was also noted as a fine tenor singer, although he never pursued a musical career. On 5 May 1879, Joyce married Mary "May" Murray. The next year, due to his work supporting Liberal candidates in the General Election of 1880, Joyce was given a post in the Dublin customs house. In 1882, his son James was born, the first of ten surviving children. Over the next ten years, Joyce gradually ran through his property. A supporter of Parnell, Joyce was crushed by what he saw as Parnell's betrayal and death following the revelation of his adultery with Kitty O'Shea. By the time of Parnell's death in 1891, Joyce had run through most the property he had inherited, and had been pensioned from his post at the customs house. A spendthrift, he proved barely able to live on the small pension that was left to him, and spent much of his time drinking. His wife died in 1903, but despite his poor management of the household, he managed to outlive her by 28 years.
Of all his children, Joyce got along well only with his eldest, James, who enjoyed his father's company and shared in some of his traits, including his musical talent and his inability with money. John Joyce is to be found throughout his son's work - most obviously as Simon Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses, as Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker in Finnegans Wake, and as the narrator's uncle in the stories "The Sisters" and "Araby" in Dubliners, but is also to be found in many other parts of Joyce's work, including forming in part the basis for Leopold Bloom in Ulysses.
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