Born Jozef Teodor Nalecz Konrad Korzeniowski, Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857 - August 3, 1924) was a Pole who was brought up in Russian-occupied Poland. His father was arrested by the occupying regime for his nationalist activities, and was sentenced to penal servitude in Siberia. Shortly after this, his mother died of tuberculosis in exile, then his father, despite his being allowed to return to Cracow.
Subsequently Conrad was brought up by his uncle. Conrad eventually abandoned his education to become a seaman in the French merchant navy, then, a few years later, took service on a British ship in order to avoid French military service.
His first novel, Almayer's Folly, a story of Malaysia which was written in English, was published in 1895. It should be remembered that the lingua franca at that time was French, which was Conrad's second language, thus it is altogether remarkable that Conrad should write so fluently and effectively in what was his third language.
His literary work bridges the gap between the classical literary tradition of writers such as Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoevsky and the emergent modernist schools of writing. He is now best known for the novella, Heart of Darkness, on which Francis Ford Coppolla's film, Apocalypse Now, is loosely based.
Several of his works are available for free in digital format from [Project Gutenberg].
- Novels and Novellas
Almayer's Folly /An Outcast of the Islands /The Informer: An Ironic Tale /The Anarchist: A Desparate Tale /The Nigger of the Narcissus /Tomorrow /Victory /The Secret Sharer /Nostromo /Lord Jim /The Secret Agent /Typhoon /A Personal Record /Youth 'Twixt Land and Sea /The Mirror of the Sea /Within the Tides /Amy Foster /End of the Tether /Falk /The Shadow Line /Under Western Eyes /Tales of Unrest /The Arrow of Gold /Chance /The Rover /Heart of Darkness /The Inheritors (co-written with Ford Madox Ford). /Romance (co-written with Ford Madox Ford).