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The Sites in Phoenix Park, Dublin

Royal Zoological Society of Ireland. Guide to the Zoological Gardens, Phoenix Park.

Royal Zoological Society of Ireland. Guide to the Zoological Gardens, Phoenix Park. "The Elephant takes visitors round the Gardens at a charge of 2d. on Week-days, and 1d. on Sundays."

Happy Bloomsday!

June 16, 2009 marks the 105th anniversary of Leopold Bloom's adventures in Dublin in James Joyce's Ulysses. In Joyce's epic (literally!) novel, Leopold Bloom travels in and around Dublin. The novel itself is a masterwork of modernity and frequently cited as one of the most important and influential novels of the 20th century. First published in 1922 (by Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare and Company in Paris), it was initially banned in the United States as obscene.

One of the pleasures of the book is the vivid descriptions of Dublin sites as seen through the mind of Bloom. One of these sites, Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe, is mentioned a few times in the text:

He had sometimes propelled her on warm summer evenings, an infirm widow of independent, if limited, means, in her convalescent bathchair with slow revolutions of its wheels as far as the corner of the North Circular road opposite Mr Gavin Low's place of business where she had remained for a certain time scanning through his onelensed binocular fieldglasses unrecognisable citizens on tramcars, roadster bicycles equipped with inflated pneumatic tyres, hackney carriages, tandems, private and hired landaus, dogcarts, ponytraps and brakes passing from the city to the Phoenix Park and vice versa.

One of the notable elements of Phoenix Park is the Dublin Zoo. Founded in 1830, the Zoo is an important research center.

Smithsonian Libraries holds an interesting collection of printed ephemera from zoos around the world, documented in "Zoos: A Historical Perspective". In this collection is a copy of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland's "Guide to the Zoological Gardens, Phoenix Park."

In looking at the photographs from this publication, one can almost see Bloom himself, strolling amongst the animals.

See also the Online Concordance to Ulysses for more fun sailing with Ulysses!—Martin Kalfatovic

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