Sylvia Beach


Sylvia Beach (1887–1962), American expatriate who opened in Nov. 1919 (with Adrienne Monnier) Shakespeare & Company, a bookshop and lending library, at 8 rue Dupuytren, Paris, moving two years later to 12 rue de l’Odéon. Her customers included James Joyce (she published Ulysses), André Gide, Paul Valéry, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. TSE wrote in tribute (‘Miss Sylvia Beach’, The Times, 13 Oct. 1962): ‘I made the acquaintance of Sylvia Beach, and … Adrienne Monnier, on a visit to Paris early in the 1920s, and thereafter saw them frequently during that decade. Only the scattered survivors of the Franco-Anglo-American world of Paris of that period, and a few others like myself who made frequent excursions across the Channel, know how important a part these two women played in the artistic and intellectual life of those years.’ See further Beach, Shakespeare and Company (1960); The Letters of Sylvia Beach, ed. Keri Walsh (2010); and James Joyce’s Letters to Sylvia Beach 1921–1940, ed. Melissa Banta and Oscar A. Silverman (1987).