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Joyce in Court

Adrian Hardiman



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Head of Zeus
06 August 2018
Biography: literary; Legal history
An accessible and original book about Joyce, by a hugely respected figure in Ireland. A brilliant recreation of the late 19th- and early 20th-century legal system in Ireland.

Books about the work of James Joyce are an academic industry. Most of them are unreadable and esoteric. Adrian Hardiman's book is both highly readable and strikingly original. He spent years researching Joyce's obsession with the legal system, and the myriad references to notorious trials in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake . Joyce was fascinated by and felt passionately about miscarriages of justice, and his view of the law was coloured by the potential for grave injustice when policemen and judges are given too much power. Hardiman recreates the colourful, dangerous world of the Edwardian courtrooms of Dublin and London, where the death penalty loomed over many trials.

He brings to life the eccentric barristers, corrupt police and omnipotent judges who made the law so entertaining and so horrifying. This is a remarkable evocation of a vanished world, though Joyce's scepticism about the way evidence is used in criminal trials is still highly relevant.
By:   Adrian Hardiman
Imprint:   Head of Zeus
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
ISBN:   9781786691590
ISBN 10:   1786691590
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   06 August 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Justice Adrian Hardiman was a judge of the Irish Supreme Court and generally acknowledged as the most brilliant lawyer of his generation. He died suddenly in 2016. His funeral was a major national event and he was mourned by thousands of people.

Reviews for Joyce in Court

'The book reads like one of [Hardiman's] elaborate court arguments and it is redolent with the knowledge for which he was renowned. It is a seemly memorial of his professional life in the courts as well as his parallel life as historian and literary scholar' Irish Examiner. 'Hardiman's detailed survey of [insurance law, libel, the tort of criminal conversation] undoubtedly renews and enriches our reading of Joyce's work as a whole ... Its treatment of individual cases is fascinating' Literary Review. 'Hardiman's enthusiastic tracing and interpretation [...] does it a great service' The Sunday Times. 'With forensic care, Hardiman takes us through the trials of Emmet and the invincibles. His advantage is that he knows the book as well as he knows the law, and so misses no chance to connect what happened legally with what enters the minds and conversations of the fictional characters ... [Hardiman] writes with clarity and with a lawyer's eye as he describes what the authorities did to prevent the book being published' Colm Toibin, Guardian. 'This tremendously well-researched and marvellously insightful book is a delight for lawyers and lovers of literature alike' Irish Independent. 'Hardiman has approached the oeuvre with refreshing clarity ... he is a highly enlightened and consistently humane reader of Joyce' Daily Telegraph. 'He has the gifts of clarity, expertise and a deep knowledge of what he is talking about ... This book is a worthy tribute to a person of many talents who fortunately chose to devote a lot of them to a body of work which was ideally suited for him' Irish Times. 'Even to those who find Ulysses somewhat impenetrable and to those who never even attempt to read Finnegans Wake, Joyce in Court is a pleasure to read and a real treasury of Joycean history in context' Dublin Sunday Business Post.

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