From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by James Joyce

Martha Clifford

Character Analysis

Martha Clifford is a woman who responded to an ad of Bloom's in the paper requesting a typist. The two of them have begun writing letters to each other full of sexual innuendo, though by most standards they are pretty tame. In "Lotus Eaters," Bloom picks up a letter from Martha in which she calls him a naughty boy, says she wants to meet, and asks what kind of perfume Molly wears. He thinks about her throughout the day, and answers the letter in "Sirens." In "Circe," Martha appears in one of Bloom's dreams. She is crying and calls him a lewd man.

Bloom's correspondence with Martha Clifford is one of his small marital infidelities, but it is clear that Bloom could never actually consummate the affair.