Portrait of Thomas More
Hans Holbein



Thomas More

& Erasmus


James Joyce &

Oliver St. John Gogarty

Portrait of Erasmus  Anonymous (Germany), 16th century


Photo of James Joyce
 by Berenice Abbott 1920s


Mother Irene Gill Library
Exhibit October 2008

 by Martha Counihan, O.S.U.
 online adaptation by Susan Acampora

Oliver St. John Gogarty

  Scroll down for more...  




      One was of a sunny disposition, pious, diffident, a gifted student, loving father, devoted servant of the Catholic Church and of england. The other, equally gifted intellectually, was moody, demanding, sickly, unsure of his vocation in life, yet a deeply loyal friend. The former, More, the layman, and Erasmus, the latter, the dutch priest first met in England in 1499. The era was one of religious turmoil and both men became immersed in it.

     St. Thomas More (1478-1535) became a renowned statesman, author of the famous Utopia (and other titles), and, ultimately, Lord Chancellor of England. In 1535, more refused to endorse  Henry xiii’s divorce and break with the Catholic Church, and so, he, the highest secular English subject, was beheaded for “treason.”  Thomas More declared himself  “the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

     Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam(1466-1536), had won fame on the continent for his keen intelligence and wit. The printing press had disseminated his humanist thought far and wide. Meeting Thomas More in England in 1499, Erasmus found an intellectual equal and was instrumental in encouraging his self-effacing new friend to publish. Utopia, the story of an idealized social and political system, was the result.

      Visiting More’s Chelsea home in 1509, Erasmus wrote his famous  satire, In Praise of Folly. Many details of Thomas More’s life are known from Erasmus’ voluminous correspondence. Erasmus was an intellectual mentor of More and, demanding as he was of his friend, wrote: “if anyone requires a perfect example of true friendship, it is in More that he will best find it.”


Portrait of Sir Thomas More by Hans Holbien the Younger
The Frick Collection


Engraving Frontispiece of Thomas More's Utopia  of a garden scene
with John Clement (‘Io. Clemens.’), Raphael Hythlodaeus (‘Hythlodǽus.’),
Thomas More (‘Tho. Morus.’) and Pieter Gilles (‘Pet. Aegid.’)

Thomas More. Utopia. 1518
Engraving possibly by Hans Holbein or Ambrosius Holbein


Page From the Praise of Folly
Desiderius Erasmus 1703
Digitized by Google Books


Portrait of Desiderius Erasmus by Hans Holbein

Johnson, Robbin S. More's Utopia: Ideal and Illusion. Vol. 9. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969.



Kaiser, Walter Jacob. Praisers of Folly: Erasmus, Rabelais, Shakespeare. Vol. 25. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963.





Joyce and Gogarty

       The friendship between Irish authors James Joyce (1882-1941) and Oliver St. John Gogarty (1878-1957) is a contrast to that of More and Erasmus.

       The two young men met about 1902 when both were indifferent medical college students. Joyce, the son of an alcoholic and ambitious father had recently graduated from University College, Dublin and Gogarty, the son of a wealthy Anglo Irish family had attended Trinity University. In between carousing, the two discovered literary ambitions in one another which fed both their rivalry and friendship. Gogarty admired Joyce’s poems and Joyce, Gogarty’s sharp wit and bawdy songs. The intellectual sparring continued; Joyce, perennially broke, frequently borrowed money from his friend. Joyce began to write more seriously and published a poem, “The Holy Office” which criticized his Irish literary acquaintances including Yeats, Lady Gregory, George Moore, and Gogarty among others. Joyce studied his companions, and many of them and their characteristics, can be found later in his writings. In 1904, Gogarty rented a building at the seaside on the outskirts of Dublin and invited Joyce to share it with him and another acquaintance.

      Lasting about a week together, the tempestuous housemates enjoyed the sea and endured one another’s foibles.  Incidents and dynamics, as many frequently did, remained indelible in Joyce’s memories and re-appear in later works. The opening chapter of Ulysses begins in the Martello tower the three young men had briefly shared. Gogarty is the sacrilegious character, Malachi “Buck” Mulligan, and Dermot Trench is Haines. Stephen Daedalus is Joyce.

     Their relationship soon soured and ended. Gogarty went on to publish widely as did Joyce; in his old age, Gogarty belittled the fame of his former “friend.”  The one-time college friendship had deteriorated into misunderstanding and jealousy.



Portrait of James Joyce by Jacques Emile Blanche painted in 1934 and owned by the National Gallery, Dublin, Ireland






click on image to enlarge

Joyce, James, 1882-1941
James Joyce ; etchings by Robert Motherwell
San Francisco : Arion Press, 1988



Read more about "Ulysses"
 by James Joyce at Google Books

Joyce, James, 1882-1941
Ulysses : a facsimile of the manuscript
James Joyce
with a critical introd. by Harry Levin and a bibliographical pref. by Clive Driver
New York : Octagon Books, 1975


Transcript portion of the 1933 free speech case: The United States versus One Book Called Ulysses

  click on image to enlarge, and zoom in



Joyce, James. Ulysses. New York: Random house, 1934.

So notorious was Ulysses that it was not allowed to be printed in England, Ireland,and the United States. In 1933, courts in New York agreed
to allow its printing. This 1934 Random House publication is a first U.S. edition.

Arnold, Bruce. The scandal of Ulysses.  Dublin" Liffey Press, 2004


Portrait of Oliver St. John Gogarty

Photograph of Oliver St. John Gogarty

Gogarty, Oliver St John, and 20 Cuala Press.
Elbow Room
. Dublin: Cuala Press, 1939.





Works Cited


Ackroyd, Peter. The Life of Thomas More. 1st in the U.S.A ed. New York: Nan A. Talese, 1998.

Arnold, Bruce. The scandal of Ulysses. Dublin : Liffey Press, 2004

Augustijn, C. Erasmus : His Life, Works, and Influence. Vol. 10. Toronto ; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1991.

Erasmus, Desiderius, White Kennett, and Hans Holbein. Moriæ Encomium: Or, A Panegyrick upon Folly. London: Printed, and sold by J. Woodward, in Threadneedle street, 1709.

Gogarty, Oliver St John, and 20 Cuala Press. Elbow Room. Dublin: Cuala Press, 1939.

Gogarty, Oliver St John. James Augustine Joyce. Dallas: The Times Herald, 1949.

---. An Offering of Swans, and Other Poems. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1923.

Johnson, James William. Utopian Literature; a Selection, Edited, with Introductions. New York: Modern Library, 1968.

Johnson, Robbin S. More's Utopia: Ideal and Illusion. Vol. 9. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969.

Joyce, James. Ulysses. New York: Random house, 1934.

Joyce, James, 1882-1941 Ulysses : a facsimile of the manuscript James Joyce
New York : Octagon Books, 1975

Kaiser, Walter Jacob. Praisers of Folly: Erasmus, Rabelais, Shakespeare. Vol. 25. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963.

More, Thomas, and Joseph Hirst Lupton. The Utopia of Sir Thomas More, in Latin from the Edition of March 1518, and in English from the First Edition of Ralph Robynson's Translation in 1551, with Additional Translations, Introduction and Notes. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1895.

More, Thomas, Ralph Robinson, and Ashendene Press. A Fruteful and Pleasaunt Worke of the Beste State of a Publique Weale, and of the Newe Yle Called Utopia. Chelsea Eng.: Ashendene Press, 1906.

More, Thomas, and Ralph Robinson. A Frutefull, Pleasaunt, and Wittie Worke, of the Beste State of a Publique Weale, & of the Newe Yle, Called Utopia. Waltham Saint Lawrence, Reading, Berks.: Golden Cockerel Press, 1929.

Motherwell, Robert, David Hayman, and James Joyce. The Ulysses Etchings of Robert Motherwell. San Francisco: Arion Press, 1988.