"ONE OF THE WORLD'S LITERARY MASTERPIECES": FIRST EDITION OF JOSEPH CONRAD'S LORD JIM
CONRAD, Joseph. Lord Jim, A Tale. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1900. Octavo, original green cloth, uncut. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $8000.
First edition, first issue, of Conrad's brilliant exploration of morality and the torment of guilt, "second only to Heart of Darkness in renown," unusually bright in the original cloth.
To critic Cedric Watts, Conrad's Lord Jim is "one of the world's literary masterpieces… Conrad, like Britannia, rules the waves… a book of the rare literary quality of Lord Jim is something to receive with gratitude and joy." Though he began working on it in 1898, with the intent of a short story, the novel ultimately "took itself into its own hands, and swept its writer with it into a profound study of a psychic phenomenon" (New York Times Book Review). "Second only to Heart of Darkness in renown" (Joseph Conrad Companion), Lord Jim is "the first full-length work of Conrad's artistic maturity… the novel is, moreover, deeply personal, with roots in Conrad's past… [and] has retained its place as one of Conrad's most widely enjoyed and studied books. It has remained so for the brilliance of its technical innovations as well." Lord Jim would prove a major influence on Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby and on the works of Faulkner, Hemingway and Robert Penn Warren, who have each "acknowledged the importance of Conrad's fiction" (Cambridge Companion). First edition, with all first issue points, including: "any rate" printed as one word (77:5); "keep" missing after "can" and "cure" should be "cured" (226:7 lines from bottom); "his" out of alignment (319:last line). Serialized in Blackwood's Magazine, beginning in late 1899. As issued without dust jacket. Cagle A5.a. Keating 25. Smith 5. Wise 7. Owner signature on half title. Bookseller ticket.
Text block expertly recased in original cloth, with a few minute inner marginal paper repairs to preliminaries and reinforced inner paper hinges, cloth exceptionally fine. A beautiful copy.