"FOR ALL MY BELIEF IN CHANCE I AM NOT EXACTLY A PAGAN": JOSEPH CONRAD’S FIRST POPULAR SUCCESS, CHANCE
CONRAD, Joseph. Chance. A Tale in Two Parts. London: Methuen, (1914). Octavo, original green cloth gilt. $1800.
First edition, first printing, second state with canceled title page (as usual), of Conrad’s classic novel.
After years of largely unrecognized literary toil, Conrad received his first great popular and material success with the ironically named Chance, thanks to the concerted publicity efforts of his American publisher, Doubleday. This book has an extremely complex publishing history due to a delay that postponed its publication until the spring of 1914 and necessitated the printing of fresh title pages. (Only about 50 copies of the first printing were issued with the uncanceled title page reading "First published in 1913" on the verso.) Other copies from the first printing may be identified based on the following points: the title page alone has been canceled, with the stub clearly visible on the verso, so that the verso of the title page reads, "First published in 1914"; Conrad's list of works includes closed quotation marks around "Narcissus"; and the eight-page publisher's catalogue is dated "Autumn 1913." (The eight-page catalogue is the second printing of the catalogue, with an advertisement for Arnold Lunn's The Harrovians at the top of page 6.) Binding A, with "METHVEN" at foot of spine. Cagle A17a1. Wise 22.
Interior fine, cloth clean, with just a touch of rubbing to spine ends and corners, gilt bright. A near-fine copy.