Author(s): Joseph Conrad; Keith Carabine (Afterword by)
Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Polish-born writer Joseph Conrad (born J zef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski). Before its 1902 publication, it appeared as a three-part series (1899) in Blackwood's Magazine. It is widely regarded as a significant work of English literature and part of the Western canon. This highly symbolic story is actually a story within a story, or frame narrative. It follows Marlow as he recounts, from dusk through to late night, his adventure into the Congo to a group of men aboard a ship anchored in the Thames Estuary. The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment as a ferry-boat captain, employed by a Belgian trading company. Although the river is never specifically named, readers may assume it is the Congo River, in the Congo Free State, a private colony of King Leopold II. Marlow is employed to transport ivory downriver; however, his more pressing assignment is to return Kurtz, another ivory trader, to civilization in a cover up. Kurtz has a reputation throughout the region.
Joseph Conrad's hauntingly beautiful masterpiece in a hardback gift edition.
Joseph Conrad was born in Ukraine in 1857. He grew up surrounded by upheaval; his Polish father was exiled to northern Russia for political activities, and Conrad was orphaned by the age of 11. He left for Marseilles in 1874 and began training as a seaman. After an attempt at suicide, Conrad joined the British merchant navy and became a British subject in 1886. Following the publication of his first novel, Almayer's Folly in 1895 he left the sea behind and settled down to a life of writing. Troubled financially for many years, Conrad faced uncomplimentary critics and an indifferent public. He finally became a popular success with Chance in 1913, fourteen years after the publication of his masterpiece, Heart of Darkness, in 1899. He died in 1924, his status as one of the great writers of his time already assured.