James Joyce began attending Clongowes
at an extremely young age. It would be
unthinkable these days to send a child off
to boarding school at six years of age, or
as a young Joyce put it on his first day of
school when asked his age “half past six”.
He got advice from both parents upon leaving.
From his mother : Stay away from the rough
boys. From his father: Never peach (tattle) on
another boy. As the youngest boy at the school,
James Joyce was allowed to live in the infirmary
instead of the dormitory so that the nurse,
Nanny Galvin, could look after him.
There must have been a few months of crying
for his mother at night, but his adjustment
period was apparently over within the first six
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