Graham Lemon's

In Brief

The beginning of Lestrygonians finds Bloom about one block north of the Liffey gazing in the windows of number 49 O'Connell Street, a candy shop that the narrative refers to as "Graham Lemon's" but which was known officially as Lemon & Co. He sees "A sugarsticky girl shovelling scoopfuls of creams for a christian brother" and thinks that the teacher must be buying them as a treat for his students. Then he reads in the shop window the words of the license that the British crown has bestowed on the business: "Lozenge and comfit manufacturer to His Majesty the King." Such licenses were (and still are) rather liberally granted to makers of high-quality products as marketing boons, but Bloom takes this one in a comically literal spirit and imagines His Majesty "Sitting on his throne sucking red jujubes white." In Circe King Edward VII appears, doing exactly that.

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Lemon's confectionery opened in 1842 and lasted well into the era of mass-produced sweets, finally going out of business in 1984. The candies were produced by its factory on Millmount Avenue in Drumcondra. Bloom thinks of "Pineapple rock, lemon platt, butter scotch," the first and last of which need no explanation. Lemon platt, also mentioned in the fourth sentence of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is glossed by Gifford as a "Candy made of plaited sticks of lemon-flavored barley sugar," while Slote cites the definition in the OED: "A flat sugar-stick, flavoured with lemon." Slote also quotes from the OED for "jujubes" ("A lozenge, made of gum arabic, gelatin, etc., flavoured with or in imitation of the [jujube] fruit [from plants of various species of Zizyphus]") and "comfit" ("sweetmeat made of some fruit, root, etc. preserved with sugar").

Today, new businesses occupy all the buildings on the first block of O'Connell Street, but above the ground-floor signage for the Foot Locker at number 49 one can still see remnants of the Lemon's shopfront. A sign with several letters missing proclaims "The Confectioners Hall," and a colored shield records the street number and the date of establishment.

JH 2019
April 2011 photograph by Mic of the second-story remains of the Lemon & Co. fa├žade at 49 Lower O'Connell (Sackville) Street. Source: www.flickr.com.
August 2018 photograph by Ojegbenro Olamide Moyosore of the Foot Locker business now housed in the building, with old signage visible above. Source: www.google.com.