London, South Kensington
6 June 2006
CONRAD, Joseph (1857-1924). The Secret Agent: Drama in Four Acts. Canterbury: for the author by H. J. Goulden, 1921. 4° (267 x 210mm). Contemporary ivory printed wrappers, original slipcase.
FIRST EDITION in dramatic form of Conrad's tale, first published as a novel in 1907, and of which the author wrote, 'This novel, suggested by the well-known attempt to blow up the Observatory in Greenwich, is based on two pieces of information: one that the perpetrator was a half-witted youth, the other that his sister committed suicide some time afterwards. As [a] literary aim the book is an attempt to treat consistently a melodramatic subject ironically'. Wise (no.17) adds 'In 1919-20 this novel was dramatised by its author, but the play (The Secret Agent. A Drama. In Four Acts) has not yet been either printed or performed. ONE OF 52 COPIES.
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