Sylvia Beach  (March 14, 1887 – October 5, 1962), born Nancy Woodbridge Beach in her father's parsonage in Baltimore, Maryland, was one of the leading expatriate figures in Paris between World War I and II. Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. Year 1887 ( MDCCCLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 869 - The Fourth Council of Constantinople is convened to decide about what to do about Patriarch Photius of Constantinople Year 1962 ( MCMLXII) was a Common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Depending on denomination, local custom and the status of the minister the Building inhabited (or formerly inhabited by the leader of a local Christian church can An expatriate (in abbreviated form expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including
Sylvia Beach was born on March 14, 1887, the second of three daughters of Sylvester Beach and Eleanor Thomazine Orbison. Although named Nancy after her grandmother Orbison, she later decided to change her name to Sylvia. Her maternal grandparents were missionaries to India, and her father, a Presbyterian minister, was descended from several generations of clergymen. When the girls were young the family lived in Baltimore and in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Then in 1901 the family moved to France when Sylvester Beach was appointed as assistant minister of the American Church in Paris and director of the American student center. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics.
As a young woman, Sylvia Beach spent over three years in Paris (1902-1905), but returned to New Jersey in 1906 when her father became minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Princeton. After her family returned to the United States, Sylvia made several trips back to Europe, lived for two years in Spain, and worked for the Balkan Commission of the Red Cross. During the last years of the Great War she was drawn back to Paris to study contemporary French literature.
While doing research at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Sylvia Beach found the name of Adrienne Monnier’s bookshop in a French literary journal and decided to seek out the little store on the rue de l’Odéon. Adrienne Monnier ( April 26, 1892 - June 19, 1955) was a French Poet, Bookseller and Publisher and There she was warmly welcomed by the owner who, to her surprise, was a plump fair-haired young woman wearing a garment that looked like a cross between a peasant’s dress and a nun’s habit, “with a long full skirt … and a sort of tight-fitting velvet waistcoat over a white silk blouse. She was in gray and white like her bookshop. ”  Although Sylvia was dressed in a Spanish cloak and hat, Adrienne knew immediately that she was American. At that first meeting Adrienne declared, “I like Americans very much. ” Sylvia replied that she liked France very much—-and so began a close friendship that lasted until Adrienne’s suicide in 1955.
Sylvia immediately became a member of Adrienne’s lending library, and when she was in Paris, she regularly attended the readings by authors such as André Gide, Paul Valéry and Jules Romains. Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry (French pɔl valeˈʁi October 30, 1871 – July 20, 1945) was a French Poet Jules Romains, born Louis Henri Jean Farigoule ( August 26, 1885 - August 14, 1972) was a French poet and writer and the Inspired by the literary life of the Left Bank and by Adrienne’s efforts to promote innovative writing, Sylvia dreamed of starting a branch of Adrienne’s book shop in New York that would offer contemporary French works to American readers. Since her only capital was $3,000 which her mother gave her from her savings, Sylvia found that she could not afford such a venture in New York. However, Paris rents were much cheaper and the exchange rates favorable, so with Adrienne’s help, Sylvia opened an English language bookstore and lending library that she named Shakespeare and Company. Four years before she opened her shop, Adrienne had been among the first women in France to found her own book store.
Shakespeare and Company quickly attracted both French and American readers—-including a number of aspiring writers to whom Sylvia offered hospitality and encouragement as well as books. As the franc dropped in value and the favorable exchange rate attracted a huge influx of Americans, Sylvia’s shop flourished and soon needed more space. Origins The franc was originally a French Gold coin of 387 g minted in 1360 on the occasion of the release of King John II ("the good", held by the In May 1921 Shakespeare and Company moved to 12 rue de l’Odéon, just across the street from Adrienne’s Maison des Amis des Livres. Shakespeare and Company gained fame after it published James Joyce's Ulysses in 1922, as a result of Joyce's inability to get an edition out in English-speaking countries. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 &ndash 13 January 1941 was an Irish expatriate writer widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the Ulysses is a novel by James Joyce, first serialized in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 Year 1922 ( MCMXXII) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Beach would later be financially stranded when Joyce signed on with another publisher, leaving Beach in debt after bankrolling, and suffering severe losses from, the publication of Ulysses.
Shakespeare and Company experienced difficulty throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s, and was kept afloat by the generosity of Beach's circle of wealthy friends, including Bryher. The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression. In 1936 when Sylvia Beach thought that she would be forced to close her shop, André Gide organized a group of writers into a club called Friends of Shakespeare and Company. Subscribers paid 200 francs a year to attend readings at Shakespeare and Company. Although subscriptions were limited to a select group of 200 people (the maximum number the store could accommodate), the fame of the French and American authors participating in readings during those two years attracted a great deal of attention to the store. Sylvia Beach recalled that by then, “we were so glorious with all these famous writers and all the press we received that we began to do very well in business”.  Shakespeare and Company remained open after the fall of Paris, but by the end of 1941, Sylvia Beach was forced to close.
Sylvia Beach was interned for six months during World War II, but kept her books hidden in a vacant apartment upstairs at 12 rue de l'Odeon. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The shop was symbolically liberated by Ernest Hemingway in person in 1944, but never re-opened. Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21 1899 — July 2 1961 was an American novelist short-story writer, and Journalist. Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
In 1956, Beach wrote Shakespeare and Company, a memoir of the inter-war years that details the cultural life of Paris at the time. Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The book contains first-hand observations of James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Valery Larbaud, Thornton Wilder, André Gide, Leon-Paul Fargue, George Antheil, Robert McAlmon, Gertrude Stein, Stephen Benet, Aleister Crowley, John Quinn, Berenice Abbott, Man Ray, and many others. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 &ndash 13 January 1941 was an Irish expatriate writer widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the David Herbert Richards Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930 was an English writer of the 20th century whose prolific and diverse output included Novels short Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21 1899 — July 2 1961 was an American novelist short-story writer, and Journalist. Ezra Weston Loomis Pound ( Hailey, Idaho Territory, United States October 30 1885 – Venice, Italy November 1 1972 was an American Expatriate Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26 1888 – January 4 1965 was a poet Dramatist, and Literary critic. Valery Larbaud ( 29 August, 1881 Vichy – 2 February, 1957 Vichy) was a French Writer. Thornton Niven Wilder ( April 17, 1897 &ndash December 7, 1975) was an American Playwright and Novelist. Léon-Paul Fargue ( March 4, 1876 - November 24, 1947) was a French Poet and essayist George Antheil ( July 8, 1900, Trenton New Jersey – February 12, 1959, New York City) was an American Robert Menzies McAlmon ( March 9, 1896 - February 2, 1956) was an American Author, Poet and Publisher Gertrude Stein ( February 3, 1874 &ndash July 27, 1946) was an American Writer who spent most of her life in France Stephen Vincent Benét ( July 22, 1898 &ndash March 13, 1943) was an American Author, Poet, Short story Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley (ˈkroʊli (12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947 was a British Occultist Writer, mountaineer John Quinn (1870-1924 was an Irish-American corporate lawyer in New York who for a time was an important patron of major figures of Post-impressionism and literary Berenice Abbott ( July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991) born Bernice Abbott, was an American Photographer Man Ray, born Emmanuel Radnitzky ( August 27 1890 &ndash November 18 1976) in Philadelphia PA and raised
A new bookshop founded in the 1950s by American George Whitman (no relation to the poet) at a different Parisian location was granted permission by Sylvia Beach to use the name "Shakespeare & Company". The 1950s Decade refers to the years of 1950 to 1959 inclusive George Whitman is the proprietor of the Shakespeare and Co Bookstore in Paris, and was a contemporary of such Beat poets as Jack Kerouac
Beach remained in Paris until her death in 1962. Although her income was modest during the last years of her life, she was widely honored for her publication of Ulysses and her support of aspiring writers during the 1920s. Sylvia Beach was buried in Princeton Cemetery. Princeton Cemetery is located in Borough of Princeton New Jersey. Her papers are archived at Princeton University. Princeton University is a private Coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey.