3 March 2004
CONRAD, Joseph (1857-1924). Almayer's Folly: A Story of an Eastern River. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1895.
8° (203 x 124mm). Title in red and black. Original green ribbed cloth, spine gilt lettered, top edges gilt, others uncut (slight bump to one corner), morocco-backed green cloth case. Provenance: Purchased from E. H. Wells, New York, 23 July 1937, $125.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE with the first 'e' missing in 'generosity' on p. 110 and 'of' missing in the last line of the same page. Conrad started his first novel in 1889, 'strongly attracted to the theme of the degeneration of the white man in the tropics,' but 'found it safer for political and social reasons to write about the Dutch rather than the English.' His choice of an alien language was at the time unique, though he later claimed to have been 'thinking' in English for many years before he began to write (see J. Meyers Joseph Conrad: A Biography, 1991, p. 89). Conrad put the number of copies eventually printed at 1,100 in a letter of 2 May, 1895, to Madame Poradowska, though Wise states that the number was 2000. A FINE COPY. Ehrsam p. 259; Wise Browning 1.
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