The First Edition of 'Ulysses' is Published in Paris

The court claimed the content of Ulysses to be pornographic based on the characters preoccupation with sex and their colorful language.

Soon after the ruling, watching a discouraged James Joyce sitting hunched over in her bookshop, Beach heard herself say, "Would you let Shakespeare & Company have the honor of bringing out your Ulysses?" An offer Joyce secretly wished for and quickly accepted.

Beach had faith in the great Irish writer's genius. She consulted Monnier, who quickly agreed on the project. Monnier's printer in Dijon, Mr. Darantiere, was called to help. He generously agreed to collaborate having full knowledge that Beach was unable to pay for the printing until after the publication of Ulysses.

Beach told Joyce that, despite her utter lack of experience as a publisher, she would issue the novel herself, which she did in 1922. She borrowed money to keep her store afloat while printing it; fought with printers to give Joyce more time to revise; and organized protests of pirate editions of the novel in the United States. Later she would write to Marianne Moore, then the editor of The Dial, trying to place advance sections of “Finnegans Wake” in that journal.

Beach was scalding about the censorship of “Ulysses.” “What a dark age we are living in and what a privilege to behold the spectacle of ignorant men solemnly deciding whether the work of some great writer is suitable for the public to read or not!” she wrote a friend. She deeply admired Joyce’s work, but as a businesswomen she was not stupid. “ ‘Ulysses’ is going to make my place famous,” she wrote to her older sister in 1921.