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March 16, 2022

Amazing Vintage Snapshots Capture Everyday Life in Dublin, Ireland at the Turn of the Century

JJ Clarke, from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, took the photographs between 1897 and 1904, when he was a medical student in Dublin. Dr Clarke’s photojournalistic approach to his subjects allowed him to capture vivid scenes from the daily lives of Dublin’s men, women and children.

Compelling in themselves, the images also show us how the city looked to writer James Joyce. His best known works – the short story collection Dubliners, and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses – are all set around this time, when Joyce too was a young student fascinated by the world around him.

Many of JJ Clarke’s photographs show Dubliners making their way along the city streets, or taking a moment’s rest. His images have a spontaneity and “snapshot” quality which is very rare in photographs of this time.

(Photos: National Library of Ireland)


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