In Brief

"You, Cochrane": the second episode, usually called Nestor, finds Stephen teaching boys in a private school in the town of Dalkey, about a mile south and a little east of the Sandycove tower. The urban directory that Joyce consulted extensively to create a realistic portrait of people and places in 1904 Dublin, referred to in these notes simply as Thom's, shows that a Charles H. Cochrane lived in Cambridge House, 38 Ulverton Road, Dalkey. Mr. Cochrane worked as a solicitor from offices on Frederick Street in Dublin—a fact consistent with Stephen's thoughts in later paragraphs that the boys in the school are "Welloff people," well aware of "the fees their papas pay."

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The information comes from the 1904 edition of Thom's Dublin Directory. Alexander Thom, born in Scotland in 1801, came to Ireland with his family in 1813 and first published Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory in 1844. The Dublin Street Directory is still published annually (see Joyce used the 1904 edition to reconstruct Dublin from his places of exile on the Continent, as Vladimir Nabokov observed in Lectures on Literature: "The Dublin setting is built partly on data supplied by an exile's memory, but mainly on data from Thom's Dublin Directory." The name "Cochrane" is the first instance in Ulysses of this reliance on Thom's.

Examination of the Thom's page reproduced at right will reveal a staggering number of crowded "tenements," "vacant" properties, and sheer "ruins," scattered among the addresses occupied by middle-class property owners and renters. Joyce's fiction largely concerns itself with this small and precarious Catholic middle class, glancing only occasionally at the moneyed Protestants who live in places like Dalkey, and the miserable masses crammed into tenements, boarding houses, and paupers' homes.

JH 2012
1904 Street Directory for Dublin City, Tyrone Street Lower, from the Thom's Directory held in the National Archives of Ireland. Source: