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- IE DCUA C1/9
- 25 August 1940-17 April 1941
Part of Seán Lester Collection
Handwritten and typed diary entries relating to Lester's time as Acting Secretary General of the League of Nations in Geneva. One of the most notable entries in this diary is Lester's extensive account of his meeting with James Joyce and his family in Geneva in December 1940. The Joyce family had fled their home in Paris the previous May and sought Lester's help in obtaining a visa for their daughter Lucia; the Nazis had refused to issue her with a visa and she remained in a mental health clinic in German-occupied France. A related letter from Joyce to Lester prior to this meeting is also included in the diaries, as are letters from Giorgio Joyce, son of James and Nora Barnacle [Joyce], and Carola Giedion-Welcker, a German-Swiss art historian and close friend of the Joyce family, following the death of James Joyce in Zurich less than a month later.
Diary also includes letters and telegrams from: Alec [Alexander] Loveday, Director of the Economic, Financial, and Transit Department of the League; Sir Walford Selby, British diplomat; Arthur Sweetser, League of Nations Public Information Section; John Gilbert Winant, Director- General of International Labour Organisation; [Humphrey] Hume Wrong, Canadian Advisory Officer to the League of Nations; Elizabeth Wiskemann, British historian; Royall Tyler, Economic and Financial Section of the League of Nations; Carl Hambro, Head of the Supervisory Commission of the League, and René Massigli, French diplomat.
Also includes letters and telegrams to: Ned [Edward Joseph] Phelan, International Labour Organisation; Carl Hambro, Head of the Supervisory Commission of the League; Elsie Lester; copy letter from Seán Murphy, Irish Minister Plenipotentiary in France to James Joyce, author; Nora Barnacle, wife of James Joyce, and Frank P Walters, Deputy Secretary General of the League of Nations. Some of the diary entries and correspondence 15 feature codenames with later annotations by Lester giving the individuals; real names.
Diary also includes two black and white photographs: one of the overturned bus that Alec [Alexander] Loveday and others had been travelling in when it crashed near Grenoble, France, in August 1940, and the other is of a Connemara pony taken by Ann Lester [Gorski].