101% Funded


Target: €5000


€5,070 Raised


69 Funders

James Joyce Illustrated Book

By Thomas McNally


My name is Thomas McNally and I am an Irish artist and illustrator. I am seeking funding for the publication of a book of illustrations based on the writing of James Joyce. The title of the book is 'The Ondt and the Gracehoper by James Joyce', and it will be published by Lilliput Press. Our goal is to have it published in time for the 110th anniversary of Bloomsday, which falls on the 16th June 2014. The only obstacle we face is the cost associated with producing a high quality book of colour illustrations, and so this is why we are here looking for your support.

The text of the book is taken from Joyce’s final novel, 'Finnegans Wake', and specifically his re-telling of Aesop’s ancient fable of ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’. Although Aesop’s fable has been illustrated many times over the centuries, Joyce’s peculiar take on it has never been illustrated before. Of all the scenes from Joyce’s works, this is the one that would be most fruitfully supplemented with illustrations. Each of my illustrations is based on a line from this scene and, when taken together, they help to chart and illuminate it.

This project is already at a very advanced stage: all of the illustrations (forty-five in total, each acrylic and ink on board) are completed, and Lilliput Press have been involved in the planning and design of the book from an early stage. Lilliput are a long-established publisher with an outstanding record of producing books of Irish interest for a domestic and international audience. One of their areas of special focus is Joyce publications, as exemplified in the Louis le Brocquy illustrated edition of Joyce’s 'Dubliners' (Lilliput, 2008), and Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon’s ground-breaking critically emended edition of 'Finnegans Wake' (Houyhnhnm Press, 2010, a sister imprint of Lilliput; this is now also the Penguin Classics edition, 2011).

Lilliput’s expertise and experience ensure that the quality of this publication will be of the highest professional standard. In addition to Joyce’s text and my illustrations, the book will also include a new essay on ‘The Ondt and the Gracehoper’ scene by Danis Rose, one of the world’s leading authorities on Joyce and 'Finnegans Wake'.

The ultimate purpose of the book is to offer readers a unique and much-needed entry-point into Joyce’s final novel, and to acquaint them with just some of the many layers of meaning that lie beyond its difficult surface.

In order to fully realise this project, we need your help. The funds raised will cover the costs of producing and type-setting/designing the book. If you would like to be a part of this publication, please make a pledge. In exchange, you will receive a signed copy of the book, a mention in the acknowledgments section of the book and – depending on your contribution – receive original artworks directly connected with this publication (see Rewards).

Thank you in advance for your support. For more information and updates, visit:






Book launch this evening

Hi all, The day of the book launch has arrived and although it's going to be pretty rainy, I hope you can join me for a celebratory glass of wine at the RIA. There's also the added treat of hearing one of Ireland's greatest actors Owen Roe giving a reading from the book. For those who are able to make it, your reward will be there for you to collect. Looking forward to talking to you later! Tom

Book Launch & Rewards

*** BOOK LAUNCH & REWARDS *** Hi everyone, The details of the launch of the Joyce illustrated book have been confirmed: Date: 6pm, Tuesday 20th May. Venue: Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. I hope you can all make it and please note that guests are also welcome. At the moment I'm busy working on all of the rewards and my goal is still to have them ready to give at the launch with the book. If you know for definite that you won't be able to make the launch, please email me at thomas.mcnally@hotmail.com and I can arrange to give it to you at another time. As for the book itself, it went to print about three weeks ago and it should be back very soon. The experience of working on the design with Lilliput was amazing and taught me a lot. The end result is even better than I hoped it would be. Once again, it's been great sharing this project with everyone. Thanks for your support and I'll hopefully see you in two weeks! Best, Tom

Rewards info

Hi everyone, Thanks again for your support in helping to get this book published. Since the Fundit campaign ended I've been busy working on the design of the book and I'm very excited about how the finished product is going to look. I hope you'll like it too! My plan is to give all rewards including drawings and paintings with the book when it comes out. The launch will be either in late May or June. I will contact everyone individually before then about the best way for you to collect your reward. Looking forward to hopefully seeing you all at the launch! Tom

Approaching the finish line!

With five days to go we are at 82%. Support has been incredible and I'm optimistic about these last few days that we'll reach the target. I'm looking forward to getting into all of the practical details of designing the book with Lilliput and with your help the publication will follow in a few months. Fingers crossed that we can have a successful finish to what for me has been a very exciting campaign. I'm very grateful to everyone for getting involved!

After week 1!

A week in and we've reached 39% of our target, which has exceeded my expectations. The response to the book has been very positive. There has been coverage of the campaign in broadsheet.ie and The Irish World, a UK based paper aimed at the Irish community there. Friends and family have been very generous with their contributions, and the campaign has also started to reach people I have never met who are interested in Joyce and art and want to help see this book published. I am very grateful to everyone who has helped by donating or getting the word out. After this positive start, I'm excited about the next stage. I'm also starting to look ahead with Lilliput Press to planning the book launch, which will probably be held on Bloomsday, June 16th. More details to follow the closer we get to our target. But it promises to be a great evening of celebration of this publication and the writing of Joyce! Thanks, Tom

funders (69)

There are 60 public funders of this project

There are 9 anonymous funders of this project