Author(s): Adrian Hardiman
Description: Books about the work of James Joyce are an academic industry. Most of them are unreadable and esoteric. Adrian Hardiman's book is both highly readable and strikingly original. He spent years researching Joyce's obsession with the legal system, and the myriad references to notorious trials in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Joyce was fascinated by and felt passionately about miscarriages of justice, and his view of the law was coloured by the potential for grave injustice when policemen and judges are given too much power. Hardiman recreates the colourful, dangerous world of the Edwardian courtrooms of Dublin and London, where the death penalty loomed over many trials. He brings to life the eccentric barristers, corrupt police and omnipotent judges who made the law so entertaining and so horrifying. This is a remarkable evocation of a vanished world, though Joyce's scepticism about the way evidence is used in criminal trials is still highly relevant.
Review: 'Hardiman's enthusiastic tracing and interpretation [...] does it a great service' The Sunday Times. 'With forensic care, Hardiman takes us through the trials of Emmet and the invincibles. His advantage is that he knows the book as well as he knows the law, and so misses no chance to connect what happened legally with what enters the minds and conversations of the fictional characters ... [Hardiman] writes with clarity and with a lawyer's eye as he describes what the authorities did to prevent the book being published' Colm Toibin, Guardian. 'This tremendously well-researched and marvellously insightful book is a delight for lawyers and lovers of literature alike' Irish Independent. 'Hardiman has approached the oeuvre with refreshing clarity ... he is a highly enlightened and consistently humane reader of Joyce' Daily Telegraph. 'He has the gifts of clarity, expertise and a deep knowledge of what he is talking about ... This book is a worthy tribute to a person of many talents who fortunately chose to devote a lot of them to a body of work which was ideally suited for him' Irish Times. 'Even to those who find Ulysses somewhat impenetrable and to those who never even attempt to read Finnegans Wake, Joyce in Court is a pleasure to read and a real treasury of Joycean history in context' Dublin Sunday Business Post.
Author Biography: Justice Adrian Hardiman was a judge of the Irish Supreme Court and generally acknowledged as the most brilliant lawyer of his generation. He died suddenly in 2016. His funeral was a major national event and he was mourned by thousands of people.