Inspiring women: Sylvia Beach

I've been rereading A Moveable Feast (the restored edition) and have fallen in love with it and Hemingway all over again. I especially love the sections about Sylvia Beach's lending library and bookshop.

With only $3000 in capital, Beach could not afford to own a bookshop in New York. But with the help of Adrienne Monnier she founded the English language bookshop and lending library, Shakespeare and Company, in Paris in 1919. It became a gathering place for writers such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford. And, of course, gained considerable fame after it published James Joyce's Ulysses in 1922. The original Shakespeare and Company was closed in 14 June 1940, during the German occupation of France during World War II.

In 1962, Sylvia Beach died, willing to George Whitman a good deal of her private books and the rights to the name Shakespeare and Company. In 1964, his bookshop Le Mistral was renamed Shakespeare and Company. Whitman named his daughter, born in 1981, after Sylvia Beach and Sylvia Beach Whitman took over the running of the shop in 2003 at age 22 and still runs it today.

Book: Shakespeare and Company by Sylvia Beach
Book: Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation
Shakespeare and Company virtual tour
Sylvia Beach Papers, 1887-1966 at Princeton Library

Image credits:
1. James Joyce photographed with Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier at Shakespeare & Co. in Paris in 1920. Image courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, via.
2. Souvenir photographs of authors/friends of Sylvia Beach, proprietor of bookstore Shakespeare & Company from Life.
Related Posts with Thumbnails