Ulysses (Limited Edition)

James Joyce

Illustrated by John Vernon Lord

Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies

Illustrations and introduction by John Vernon Lord

Introductory essays by Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon, and Stacey Herbert

Fully bound in leather, Folio’s centenary edition of the modernist masterpiece is illustrated and signed by John Vernon Lord.

‘I hold this book to be the most important expression which the present age has found.’
  1. T. S. Eliot

To mark the centenary of publication on 2 February 2022, this Folio Society limited edition, bound in calfskin leather, celebrates one of the greatest novels of the 20th century in the most authoritative edition of the text. The intricate artwork by John Vernon Lord, one of the finest illustrators working today, includes 19 colour illustrations and an exclusive print presented in a folder featuring a design by the artist. Lord has also signed each of the 500 hand-numbered copies on a letterpress-printed limitation page.

Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies signed by John Vernon Lord

Bound in green calfskin leather blocked in gold foil

768 pages of text set in Dante and printed on Munken Pure paper

Printed in two colours throughout

Frontispiece and 18 full-page colour illustrations printed on Natural Evolution Ivory paper

Gold page tops

Two green grosgrain ribbon markers

11⅖˝ × 8˝

Print by John Vernon Lord presented in a folder featuring a design by the artist


Presentation box

Clamshell box covered in red cloth inset with a printed label and blocked in gold foil

3½˝ × 12½˝ × 9˝

‘It comes nearer to being the perfect revelation of a personality than any book in existence.’
  1. New York Times

This centenary limited edition follows the most authoritative text to date. Joyce scholars and long-term collaborators Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon returned to the original 1922 typescript, which was read and corrected by the author. By incorporating Joyce’s later revisions and corrections they have created, as nearly as possible, the Ulysses that James Joyce wanted to have published. The edition includes an essay by the editors detailing their methodology, while Joyce expert and fine-press exhibition curator Stacey Herbert has written a superb short history of the publication of this landmark novel.

Watch multi award-winning artist John Vernon Lord examine the experience of illustrating James Joyce's great modernist masterpiece for Folio's 2017 edition.


Joyce devotee and multi-award-winning artist John Vernon Lord described working on this limited edition as ‘a humbling experience’. His series of 19 extraordinary colour illustrations and exclusive print are complemented by a new binding design and a portrait of Joyce, which is inset as a printed label on the clamshell box. Lord’s fascinating introductory essay illuminates the meanings, symbols, events and inspirations behind each illustration – his work a visual guide through the complex narrative.

‘He is always there, the genius who spun the meanderings of a handful of fictitious nobodies into the greatest novel in the history of the form.’
  1. Guardian

Exciting, challenging, moving but never solemn, Ulysses is an extraordinary book that takes place over the course of 24 hours in Dublin at the dawn of the 20th century. Leopold Bloom is Joyce’s Ulysses and the 18 episodes in the novel loosely parallel the journey of Homer’s protagonist, as Bloom makes his way through the city, and home to his wife and son; each character wrestling with their flaws and failings, before ultimately confronting their relationships with each other.

‘For seven years I have been working at this book – blast it!’ wrote James Joyce in a letter in 1920. What had started out as a short story entitled ‘Ulysses in Dublin’, intended as a rounding-off for Dubliners, had taken him over completely. Ulysses may take place in a single day in a single city, but it teems with zestful humanity. By the end of his journey, Joyce had created a masterpiece.

Born in Dublin in 1882, James Joyce was a brilliant student. Following his graduation from University College Dublin in 1902, he moved to Paris and would spend much of the rest of his life in Continental Europe. A brief stint as a medical student was abandoned for a writing career and his first book, a collection of poems entitled Chamber Music, was published in 1907. Dubliners (1914) and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) followed, but it was not until the publication of Ulysses on 2 February 1922, Joyce’s 40th birthday, that he achieved international fame. His last novel, Finnegans Wake, was finally published in 1939 after seventeen years of composition. Joyce died in Zurich in 1941.

John Vernon Lord was born in Glossop, England, and studied illustration in Salford and London. His children’s books have been published widely and translated into several languages. His picture book The Giant Jam Sandwich has become a classic, having been in print for over forty years, and his Aesop’s Fables won the W. H. Smith/V&A Illustration award in 1990. He has illustrated many books on the subjects of fables, myths, legends, sagas, epics and nonsense. He was Professor of Illustration at the University of Brighton, where he is now Professor Emeritus. His most recent illustration work for The Folio Society has been for Finnegans Wake (2014) and Ring of the Nibelung (2020). For Ulysses he was presented with the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize at the V&A illustration awards in 2018. His studio has been based in Ditchling since 1971.

Danis Rose is principal editor of the critical edition of Finnegans Wake first published by Houyhnhnm in 2010, and by The Folio Society in 2014. His publications include The James Joyce Archive: Volumes 28–63 (1977–8; with David Hayman and John O’Hanlon), The Index Manuscript (1978), Understanding Finnegans Wake (1982; with John O’Hanlon), The Lost Notebook (1989; with John O’Hanlon), The Textual Diaries of James Joyce (1995) and Ulysses: A New Reader’s Edition (2004). He was born in Dublin, and now lives in Glengarriff, West Cork.

John O’Hanlon has collaborated with Danis Rose in most of his Joyce related projects, in particular in the preparation of the extensive hypertext of Finnegans Wake. His expertise is in mathematics and physics, and he has been primarily responsible for the digital architecture essential to Rose’s textual constructions. He is the author of Love and Curiosity: the Cosmos (2011; with Danis Rose).

Stacey Herbert studied Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she was Mary Barnard Fellow in the Special Collections Library. Her research into Joyce’s bibliography, begun there, has taken her to related collections throughout the United States and Europe. She has curated exhibitions on Modernist fine press printing and on the history and legacy of works by W. B. Yeats, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett.


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