“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, July 27, 1921, 12 rue de l’Odeon, Paris

Everything is fitting in just right.

American ex-patriate Sylvia Beach, 34, has relocated her shop, Shakespeare & Co., to this new location, a few blocks from where she originally opened almost two years ago.

Sylvia Beach at her bookstore, 12 rue de l’Odeon

One of her recent American visitors, the Irish-American lawyer and art collector, John Quinn, 51, had pronounced the previous shop “a hovel.” Quinn is in the process of buying up the manuscript of Ulysses, the radical novel by Irish writer James Joyce, 39, which Sylvia is publishing this fall.

Quinn can be brusque. And rude.

But Beach and Joyce are glad he’s chipping in with financial [and legal] support while Joyce finishes his monumental work.

Shortly after Quinn’s visit, Sylvia’s partner, Adrienne Monnier, 29, heard that the antiques dealer here in no. 12 wanted someone to take over her lease. Sylvia jumped at the chance.

A shoemaker, a corset maker, and a book appraiser to her left. An orthopaedic specialist, a music shop, and a nose spray manufacturer to her right. And Adrienne’s own French-language bookshop, La Maison des Amis des Livres, right across the street at no. 7. A good fit.

Adrienne Monnier at her bookstore, 7 rue de l’Odeon

Best of all, Adrienne’s apartment is up the block at no. 18. Sylvia has already moved all her personal stuff in with Adrienne.

In addition to this great location just north of the Luxembourg Gardens, the new space is bigger and easier to find. Two rooms above the shop are included in the rent.

Quinn approves of the new place, happy that Joyce’s Ulysses isn’t “going to come out in that shanty.”

Now that’s she’s all settled in, Sylvia and Adrienne are going away on a brief vacation.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I covering 1920 is available in print and e-book format on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I am talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at the University of Pittsburgh. This fall I will be talking about Writers’ Salons in Dublin and London before the Great War in the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.


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