James, Nora, Giorgio, and Giorgio’s seven-year-old son Stephen James, packed their goods permanently due to the onset of World War II, evacuating first to the French countryside, and then to neutral territory – Zurich, Switzerland.
The Joyce family moved into the Hotel Lutétia on 45 Boulevard Raspail in the 5th arrondissement. His daughter Lucia Joyce was in a sanatorium, and so was Giorgio’s wife Helen.
Hotel Lutétia still exists. The building was renovated in 2016.
Hotel Lutétia is an extravagant five-star hotel, which opened in 1910. It is close to Le Bon Marché, the large mall, on Rue de Sevres, the Luxembourg Garden, and the Boulevard du Montparnasse.
James Joyce stayed in the Hotel Lutétia from mid-October to 23 December 1939 when James and Nora took little Stephen James to the country to stay near Maria Jolas in Saint-Gérand-le-Puy near Vichy so that he could attend school.
Giorgio Joyce, bored with the country, stayed in the Hotel Lutétia for about six months, often returning to the country to see his family. He returned to Saint-Gérand-le-Puy briefly for his son’s eighth birthday on 15 February 1940.
It was the last hotel, and last residence, in Paris where James Joyce lived before he evacuated the city and retreated to the French countryside permanently due to the German occupation. He stayed in the countryside to the end of 1940, before leaving France on 14 December and arriving in Zurich, Switzerland, on 17 December 1940. He died in Zurich on 13 January 1941, less than a month later.
James Joyce Paris Residence: Number 18 out of 18.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls