James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882, in the town of Rathgar, near Dublin, Ireland. He was the oldest of ten children born to a well-meaning but financially inept father and a solemn, pious mother. Joyce’s parents managed to scrape together enough money to send their talented son to the Clongowes Wood College, a prestigious boarding school, and then to Belvedere College, where Joyce excelled as an actor and writer. Later, he attended University College in Dublin, where he became increasingly committed to language and literature as a champion of Modernism. In 1902, Joyce left the university and moved to Paris, but briefly returned to Ireland in 1903 upon the death of his mother. Shortly after his mother’s death, Joyce began work on the story that would later become A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.