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Beach, Sylvia Woodbridge

Born: 1887 AD
Died: 1962 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Librarians

1887 – Born on March 14th in Baltimore, Md. A bookshop operator who became important in the literary life of Paris, particularly in the 1920s, when her shop was a gathering place for expatriate writers and a centre where French authors could pursue their newfound interest in American literature.

1901 – She accompanied her father, a Presbyterian clergyman, to Paris, where he served an American church.

1906 – Returned to New Jersey when her father became minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Princeton.

1918 – She did volunteer relief work in France during World War I and served with the American Red Cross in Serbia.

1919 – Beach opened Shakespeare and Company, a bookshop on the Rue Dupuytren in the St.-Germain-des-Prés quarter of Paris.

1921 – Shakespeare and Company moved to 12 rue de l’Odéon, just across the street from Adrienne’s Maison des Amis des Livres.

1922 – Beach published James Joyce’s monumental Ulysses, segments of which had already been judged obscene in England and the United States and which had been rejected by several established publishers.

1927-1929 – She also published Joyce’s Pomes Penyeach and Samuel Beckett’s Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress.

1941 – Her shop remained a literary mecca until it closed during the German occupation of Paris.

1943 – Beach was interned by the Germans for several months.

1944 – Interned for six months during World War II. The shop was symbolically liberated by Ernest Hemingway in person but never re-opened.

1956 – Wrote Shakespeare and Company, a memoir of the inter-war years that details the cultural life of Paris at the time.

1959 – Her memoir, Shakespeare and Company, was published.

1962 – Died on October 5th in Paris, France.