An original manuscript created by James Joyce while writing 'Ulysses' is to be sold at a London auction.

The James Joyce manuscript is to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London next week. The forty four page document in James Joyce’s own handwriting is one of the earliest working drafts of any chapter of the novel 'Ulysses'. It is expected to fetch well over a million pounds at when sold.

The emergence of any Joycean manuscript always attracts a lot of attention from both scholars and collectors.

Experts say that this previously unknown draft of one of the closing chapters of Ulysses could revolutionise our understanding of James Joyce’s work. The manuscript from the Eumaeus episode is heavily revised and annotated by the writer himself. The work was written in Trieste and Paris between 1916 and 1920.

Peter Selley of the Manuscript Department at Sotheby’s says that the manuscript may be the earliest surviving draft and of any episode from Ulysses and it has been heavily worked by James Joyce.

The manuscript comes from a private collector who acquired it from the former French Ambassador to Bern. A bronze cast from James Joyce’s death mask as well as the original plaster cast will also go to auction.

James Joyce died in Zurich in 1941.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 July 2001. The reporter is Brian O’Connell.