Joyce, Lucia, -1982

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Lucia Anna Joyce, second child and only daughter of Irish writer James Joyce and Nora Barnacle, was born July 26, 1907, in Trieste, Austria-Hungary. Her early life and education was somewhat unstable as the impoverished Joyce family relocated often. She attended several schools, moving between Trieste and Zurich until 1920, when the family settled and lived in and around Paris.

In addition to her formal education, Lucia Joyce studied piano, singing, and drawing. At age fifteen, she began dance studies in Paris. She eventually performed professionally, but discouraged with her progress and abilities, she abandoned her dance career in 1929 .

In her early twenties, Lucia Joyce pursued several brief and unsuccessful relationships. Among her romantic interests were Samuel Beckett, and her drawing instructor, Alexander Calder . Family and friends observed increasingly erratic behavior from Joyce during this period, and in February 1932, she was institutionalized for a short time after throwing a chair at her mother. She was engaged to Alex Ponisovsky in March 1932, but wedding plans were abandoned after the further decline of her mental health.

Lucia Joyce spent the next several years in and out of sanitariums. She was seen by numerous doctors and analysts, including Carl Jung, and was diagnosed at different times as neurotic, schizophrenic, and manic-depressive. In 1935, she was committed to an asylum near Paris and remained institutionalized for the rest of her life, dying December 12, 1982, in St. Andrew's Hospital in Northampton, England.


Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce . 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982

Shloss, Carol. Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake . New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003

From the guide to the Lucia Joyce Collection None., 1925-1995, (Bulk)1935-1976, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center)

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Boyle, Kay, 1902- person
associatedWith Gilbert, Stuart. person
associatedWith Gilbert, Stuart, 1883-1969 person
associatedWith Hughes, Herbert, 1882-1937. person
associatedWith Joyce, James, 1882-1941 person
associatedWith Lowell, Robert, 1917-1977 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Novelists, Irish--20th century--Family relationships


Birth 1907-07-26

Death 1982-12-12



Ark ID: w6ww8mc8

SNAC ID: 63875797