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Posts Tagged ‘passport history’

James Joyce’s Passport Goes On Sale

James Joyce, the author of Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake, was one of Ireland's most famous writers. He died in 1941, but someone had enough foresight to hold on to one of his old passports, which will be auctioned off by Sotheby's later this month. I'm sure whoever kept the passport is quite glad they did: according to the Irish Times, the auction is expected to bring in anywhere from €55,600 to €77,900! A lot has changed since World War I, when Joyce used this passport to shuffle his family between various European countries while he worked on Ulysses, widely considered his masterpiece. For one thing, most countries no longer allow an entire family to travel on a single passport. These days, even newborns need their own documents. One thing that hasn't changed, however, is the


The History of the Passport Application

It's hard to believe, but there was a time when you didn't have to fill out a passport application to travel internationally. In fact, passports weren't required for international travel until the first World War, though governments had been issuing passports or "documents of safe conduct" for centuries prior. After World War I, the League of Nations decided that passport requirements should be maintained for international travel in peacetime as well. Although today we think of passports as essential, when passport applications became a requirement, many people were not happy. Over at the Oxford University Press blog, Craig Robertson, author of The Passport in America: The History of A Document, explains: Middle-class and the more well-to-do resisted the implementation of passport re