Cover image for Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad
Fletcher, Chris, 1967-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6005.O4 Z684 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Polish-born Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) is widely considered to be one of the finest masters of the English language. His life at sea and in foreign ports around the world furnished most of the material for his books, which include Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, and perhaps his best-known story,"The Heart of Darkness." This beautifully illustrated volume, written by author Chris Fletcher, provides a thorough look at this complex author. About the series: The British Library is in a unique position when it comes to biographical research, especially concerning British authors. This revered institution boasts the world's largest collection of original manuscripts, as well as an outstanding collection of letters, personal diaries, first editions, andother literary treasures. The titles in this series take full advantage of this vast source of documentary evidence by illustrating each of these lively writers' biographies with state-of-the-art facsimiles of pertinent documents and reproductions of art from the period. Penned by expertbiographers, each of these books also contains an index, further reading list, and a chronology of the writer's life.

Author Notes

Chris Fletcher is Curator, British Library.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-9. For Joseph Conrad, neither fame nor fortune came easily. Born in 1857 of aristocratic parents in Poland, Conrad was orphaned young and became financially and emotionally dependent on his uncle and friends. Later, he pursued an adventurous nautical career and his experiences inspired his most well-known works. This chronological account of Conrad's life, times, and influences is detailed and thorough, from his chronic struggles with depression and physical ailments to his extensive travels and attempts to achieve literary and financial success. Fletcher's text is somewhat dense and formal in tone, but the many quotes and passages from Conrad's letters and works provide unique insight into the man, and a fine introduction to Conrad's vivid, powerful prose. The book is notable for excellent, illuminating visuals: sepia-toned and full-color photos, sketches, manuscript reproductions, and classic paintings of the sea. Quoted material is not directly attributed, although sources, published and unpublished, are listed at book's end; chronology appended. --Shelle Rosenfeld

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Engaging readers with a smoothly flowing, chronological narrative, Fletcher develops Conrad as a complex man who elicited a multitude of emotions from those who shared his life. The illustrations spread liberally throughout the book range from personal collections of black-and-white and sepia photographs to archival letters, manuscripts, and notes to sketches and professional color photographs. The narrative is rife with quotes, making this an excellent source for students needing primary-source material. The index is extensive, so that finding an exact fact or quote for reports is greatly facilitated. The British spellings may give readers a moment's pause, but they do not detract from the narrative in this skillfully written biography.-Marilyn Fairbanks, Azure IRC, Brockton High School, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.