Finnegans Wake

Editions of Finn's Hotel and Finnegans Wake

Prepared by Danis Rose and John O'Hanlon

The principal editions of Finn's Hotel and Finnegans Wake referred to in the James Joyce Digital Archive are described below. Links to the various publishing houses where copies may be obtained are supplied.

Finn's Hotel by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose (Dublin: Ithys Press, 2013).

This book is a serio-comic collection of ‘little epics’ that James Joyce wrote in 1923 just before he began to work seriously on the hugely complex enterprise that became Finnegans Wake. Its existence and significance were discovered some decades ago … and its publication thwarted for twenty years. The first edition (2013) is edited and arranged by Danis Rose, introduced by Seamus Deane, illustrated by Casey Sorrow, and designed & printed in letterpress by Michael Caine. Further details may be found on the Ithys Press website.

Unfortunately, there is at present no cheap edition, though the book is available in a number of translations, including German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. Links to the publishers of those editions can be found on the Ithys Press website.

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, first edition (London: Faber and Faber, 4 May 1939).

Most of the copies of Finnegans Wake now available in bookshops or on the internet are either straight reproductions of the 1939 first edition or (as in the case of the Viking Press, Faber and Faber, and more recent Oxford University Press reprints) reproductions incorporating the list of errata prepared by Joyce with Paul Léon's help in 1940. These corrections were so few in number and so minor in detail (adding commas, etc.) that they did not require a resetting of the text, which would have been very difficult to achieve at the time, hence the page and line numbers in all these editions are the same. The Oxford University Press edition, referred to above, includes an Introduction by Finn Fordham and textual notes (including suggested emendations) by Robbert-Jan Henkes and Erik Bindervoet.

Eric Rosenbloom has prepared a chronological list of the several reprintings made to date.

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose and John O'Hanlon (Mousehole, Cornwall: Houyhnhnm Press, 2010).

This is the first, and so far only, critically edited text of Finnegans Wake. It closely approximates what used to be called a ‘definitive’ edition in that a conservative rationale has been painstakingly applied over many years in tracing the textual history of each word, phrase and sentence in the novel back to its root form, and beyond that, where possible, to its counterpart in one or other of the 60-odd notebooks that Joyce filled over the period 1922-1939. The notebook counterparts usually consist of a word or two only, copied from the books, journals and newspapers that he found himself reading or that he had friends or assistants read out aloud to him.

Some copies of the first, limited edition are still available directly from the Houyhnhnm Press.

A cheaper hardback reproduction, in a smaller format and entitled “The Restored Finnegans Wake” was published by Penguin in 2012. Unfortunately, it is now out of print and can only be bought second-hand. It boasts a cover designed by Eoin Ryan.

A de luxe reprint, illustrated by John Vernon Lord, was published by The Folio Society in 2014. Unfortunately, this edition has been sold out and is only available second-hand. A review of the book's physical appearance and feel can be viewed here and an interview with John Vernon Lord, winner of the 2018 Victoria and Albert Museum Book Illustration prize, here.