From Sunday Miscellany on RTÉ Radio 1, Gerry Moloney recounts how James Joyce's belief in coincidence and the significance of certain dates saw him go to great lengths to have his books published on his own birthday...

"For a man of letters, Joyce was, surprisingly, highly superstitious. He kept vigil the night of his mother's death expecting to see her ghost. He also had an almost primeval fear of thunder... and his superstitions extended to a strong belief in the significance of dates and historical co-incidences. The best known example is, of course, his placing of the entire action of Ulysses on 16th June 1904 - the day of his first date with his life partner Nora Barnacle. However, never far from his thoughts was the date of his own birthday...."

Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1, Sunday mornings from 9.10am - 10am - listen back here.