The Crock of Gold
James Stephens (1880-1950) was a co-founder of the Irish Review, and later registrar at the National Gallery of Ireland. Well-known as a poet and writer, he also made the claim of sharing a birth date with James Joyce, which through their friendship culminated in 'the strangest idea in literary history' (Ellmann, 604). So disheartened by the progress of Finnegans Wake, Joyce asked Stephens to complete the book if he were unable or indisposed to do so. Joyce persisted in this request for several years. The Crock of Gold (1912) was Stephens's second novel and it is the one that he is best remembered by.