James Joyce's 'The Cats of Copenhagen' (Ithys Press, 2012) Poster
The first-ever appearance in print of James Joyce’s Story for Children, THE CATS OF COPENHAGEN is published by Ithys Press in a letterpress edition of 200 copies, limited to 26 Lettered copies, 170 Numbered copies & 4 copies Hors Commerce.
Last copies: Lettered issue €1,800 ; Numbered issue €450.
For orders and enquiries, please email: Ithys Press

Exquisite, surprising, and with a keen, almost anarchic subtext, THE CATS OF COPENHAGEN is a slightly younger twin sister to The Cat and the Devil, the only other known example of James Joyce writing a story for young children.

Both works, penned within a few weeks of each other, are in letters posted to his only grandchild, Stephen James Joyce. At the time of writing, Joyce was taking a much-needed break in Denmark and four-year-old Stephen was staying at the Villa des Roses in Menthon-St-Bernard.

This Ithys Press first edition is set from the text of the original manuscript letter dated 5 September 1936. The letter is among the many items donated to the Zurich James Joyce Foundation by Hans E. Jahnke, son of Giorgio Joyce’s second wife, Asta. Nearly lost and forgotten, it is a joy to see this delightful story in print at last.

Joyce’s internationalist spirit and eccentric humour inspire the design. Michael Caine has printed this large-format letterpress edition with virtuoso skill, setting the text in a wondrously expressive array of original, early twentieth-century hand-cut Italian and French founts to capture the imagination of readers young and old. Casey Sorrow brings to life Joyce’s curious ‘Københavnere’ with ingeniously playful pen-and-ink drawings, specially commissioned, and printed by typographique cliché.

The Deluxe issue, lettered A-Z and printed on the last sheets of Crisbrook Waterleaf from the renowned and now historic Barcham Green handmade papermakers, is in loose imperial quartos, with paper-wrappers of Christopher Rowlatt’s hand-marbled fantasia and presented in a vibrant cloth-covered slip-case (29.5 x 39.5cm). The Numbered issue, printed on Fedrigoni Freelife Vellum, is in double-elephant sextos and hand-bound in one-quarter cloth over marbled boards (23 x 33cm).

James Joyce's 'The Cats of Copenhagen' (Ithys Press, 2012) Deluxe issue
James Joyce’s ‘The Cats of Copenhagen’ (Ithys Press, 2012) Deluxe issue

First Edition Gallery

(Photography by David Monahan)

8 thoughts on “THE CATS OF COPENHAGEN by James Joyce

  1. Hi, I wish to know, might it be a possibility that Ithyss Press later publish a version of “Cats of Copenhagen” which might be some ‘more’ democratic in price, for the moment I’m not able to spend 300 euro’s (or more) for the book, but it might be of interest to me, best wishes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s