2022 marked the centenary of the publication of Ulysses and the sixtieth anniversary of the opening of the Joyce Tower in Sandycove, Co. Dublin, as a museum. It was also the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Friends of Joyce Tower Society, a group set up by local Joyce enthusiasts to keep the museum open at a point when its future looked doubtful.
As well as celebrating these three milestone anniversaries, Tales from the Tower is also a deeply personal account of the Tower and Museum, as recalled by its two main curators, Vivien Veale Igoe and Robert Nicholson. Both worked in the Tower at a time when it was still possible to meet many of the people who knew Joyce and his contemporaries.
The book recounts the – often hilarious – ups and downs of the Museum from its opening in 1962 through to the present day: through thick and thin, around the annual Bloomsday celebrations, dealing with visiting Joyce fans of all types and quirks, odd bequests and the ongoing work of running a museum – all while, quite literally, keeping the building from falling apart.