"VIBRANT WITH THE THRILL OF A GREAT PASSION"
CONRAD, Joseph. The Arrow of Gold. A Story between Two Notes. London: T. Fisher Unwin, (1919). Octavo, original green cloth, original dust jacket. $3500.
First English edition, the first edition complete with Conrad's corrections, in scarce unrestored dust jacket.
Written from 1917-18, Conrad's Arrow of Gold earned high praise on publication as richly poetic and "tense, dramatic, vibrant with the thrill of a great passion… written in that intensely individual, flexible style which renders this man of Polish birth one of the most distinguished among the living writers of English" (New York Times Book Review). Critics have since noted that "in no other book does Conrad work quite so steadily as a painter in prose" (Wiley, Conrad's Measure of Man, 163), achieving a narrative complexity that fully embodies "the use of self-consciously aesthetic ways of seeing" (Stape, 147). Conrad would himself write that Arrow of Gold arose from subjects first considered in his youth. "I was conscious of it through all the years of my writing life, but I was reluctant to take it up… It was only in 1917 that I brought myself to consider it seriously" (Wise, 40). Conrad strongly objected to the novel's "early publication in America" but failure to negotiate serial rights there led to the publisher's insistence on an April 1919 printing, before Conrad's corrections could be incorporated into the text. First English edition, complete with Conrad's corrections not present in the American edition issued four months prior. With Cagle's "a" binding, "c" endpapers, "b" dust jacket with gold arrow on front panel and spine: no clear priority established. Serially printed in England's Lloyd's Magazine (December 1918-February 1920). Cagle A38b. Wise 41.
Book clean and very nearly fine. Unrestored dust jacket, often not present, toned at spine and edges, with light edge-wear to spine ends, tiny snag to rear panel, extremely good.