Stephen ​Hero is the original draft of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which was thrown into the fire by Joyce after a domestic argument. His sister Eileen rescued most of it and the fragment was later bought for the Library of Harvard University.
The draft is extremely valuable to all readers, especially students of James Joyce. It differs considerably from the final published version, and includes characters and incidents which were later cut for the sake of compression.
The edition published was carefully edited with footnotes and prepared for press by Dr Theodore Spencer in such a way as to show Joyce’s queries, deletions and alternative ideas, but in this country it was printed during wartime and a few literal errors of transcription passed unnoticed. The text has now been carefully collated and the mistakes corrected.
After the war a further fragment of the original manuscript came to light, and was added to this edition with an explanatory note and a foreword. Stephen Hero is a remarkable literary work in its own right as well as being an important insight into the workings of Joyce’s mind, for it not only throws light on the great artist’s development as a writer but also presents a wonderfuly convincing transcript of life.

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