Life in Brief: Joseph Conrad

3 Dec. 1857:         Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski born in Berdichev, Ukraine to a Polish family

1861:                      His father Apollo is arrested by Russian authorities in Warsaw and exiled to Vologda

1865:                      His mother Ewelina dies of tuberculosis

1869:                  … becomes an orphan at age 11 when Apollo dies in Kraków, Poland

1874:                  … travels to Marseilles to sail after failing to win Austro-Hungarian citizenship

1878:                  … attempts suicide, then sails to England on the British ship, Mavis

1883:                  … escapes a ship fire off Java after making first contact with the “exotic East”

1883:                  … Narcissus voyage from Bombay will inspire 1897 novel The Nigger of the Narcissus*

1886:                  … acquires his Master Mariner’s certificate and British citizenship

1890:                  … captains a Belgian Congo steamboat, wrecks his health

1894::                  … resigns from the Navy for the literary life, thanks to a bequest from his late uncle

1895:                  … sees his first novel Almayer’s Folly published under the name “Joseph Conrad”

1896:                  … marries Englishwoman Jessie George, with whom he will have sons John and Borys

1898:                  … begins collaborating with English novelist Ford Madox Ford

1899:                      Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim first published as serials in Blackwood’s Magazine

1901:                  … authors, with Ford Madox Ford, The Inheritors – An Extravagant Story

1902-1906:        … writes many published works, including Youth, Nostromo and The Mirror of the Sea

1907:                  … revises The Secret Agent – A Simple Tale for its publication that year in book form

1914:                      Family vacation to Poland coincides with the outbreak of World War I

1924:                  … suffers a heart attack at home and dies

*From the wikipedia entry on the novel:

In the United States, the novel was first published with the title The Children of the Sea: A Tale of the Forecastle, at the insistence by the publisher, Dodd, Mead and Company, that no one would buy or read a book with the word nigger in its title, not because the word was deemed offensive but that a book about a black man would not sell.


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