Lot 228
  • 228

Conrad, Joseph

2,000 - 3,000 GBP
5,625 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Conrad, Joseph
  • The Nigger of the "Narcissus". Preface. [Hythe: Privately printed for the author by J. Lovick, 1902]
8vo, first separate (and revised) edition of the author's "artistic manifesto", presentation copy inscribed to Richard Curle ("To Richard Curle from J. Conrad. | Suppressed preface to the book from | which however W.E. Henley insisted on | printing at the end of serial pub[licati]on in the | New Review, as an afterword." at the head of the text, collector's chemise and slipcase, rust stains around staple, some very minor spotting

One hundred copies of this 'suppressed preface' were privately printed for Conrad by J. Lovick of Hythe. Forty of these copies, however, were accidentally destroyed by Conrad. The text includes a typesetting error with "prjudices" appearing on the first page. Conrad has failed to correct this on this copy.

Sidney Pawling of Heinemann refused to print the text of Conrad's preface with the novel and, although it had appeared in the New Review for December 1897, it did not appear in book form until the 1914 Doubleday, Page edition in the United States. Only in 1921 did it appear as a preface in Heinemann's collected edition.

Knowles and Moore note that '...this "Preface" has... come to be seen as Conrad's artistic manifesto.' (see  Knowles and Moore, p. 326). For Karl it is '...a document of overwhelming personal and aesthetic importance for him. It was... his personal summation of the life of the artist up to 1897 and... a harbinger of the artist to come...' (see Karl, p. 394).

It appears that Richard Curle had at least two copies of this publication. A copy with a different inscription was described in his Notes by Joseph Conrad (London, 1925) and that copy was sold in his sale ("The Richard Curle Conrad Collection") at the American Art Association on 28 April 1927. The author, editor and journalist Richard Curle (1883-1968) was a very close friend of Conrad's during the last decade of his life, and the co-executor of his estate after his death. See note alongside lot 66, Part I.


Richard Curle (authorial inscription)


Cagle A3f