In 1913 the Irish poet W. B. Yeats recommended Joyce's work to the avant-garde American poet Ezra Pound, who was assembling an anthology of verse. Pound wrote to Joyce, and in 1914 Joyce submitted the first chapter of the unfinished Portrait to Pound, who was so taken with it that he pressed to have the work serialised in the London literary magazine The Egoist. Joyce hurried to complete the novel, and it appeared in The Egoist in twenty-five instalments from 2 February 1914 to 1 September 1915.
There was difficulty finding a British publisher for the finished novel, so Pound arranged for its publication by an American publishing house, B. W. Huebsch, which issued it on 29 December 1916. The Egoist Press republished it in the United Kingdom on 12 February 1917 and Jonathan Cape took over its publication in 1924. In 1964 Viking Press issued a corrected version overseen by Chester Anderson. Garland released a "copy text" edition by Hans Walter Gabler in 1993.