"HE IMAGINED THAT HE COULD GO ON AFTERWARDS LOOKING AT THE SUNSHINE, ENJOYING THE SHADE": JOSEPH CONRAD'S SCARCE SECOND BOOK, AN OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS
CONRAD, Joseph. An Outcast of the Islands. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1896. Octavo, original green cloth, top edge gilt, uncut. Housed in a custom chemise and half morocco slipcase. $1600.
First edition of Conrad's critically acclaimed second book and the work that convinced him to continue writing.
After the publication of Almayer's Folly Conrad was unsure whether to continue writing. He was persuaded by Edward Garnett, a reader for Unwin who had also encouraged him after reading a draft of his first book. Garnett's remark, "You have the temperament, you have the style—why not write?" convinced him to continue. The review for Outcast of the Islands "included sufficient high praise to confirm [Conrad] in the choice of the literary career. He had established a strong identity as a writer of exotic, adventurous fiction who brought to the material a sophisticated, ironic, skeptically reflective mind, acute political awareness, and distinctive stylistic virtuosity. His recurrent themes were human isolation, beleaguered solidarity, the vanity of romantic aspirations, the myopia of racial prejudice, and the recognition that loyalty to one principle may entail treachery to another" (DNB). One of 3000 copies printed. Cagle A2a. Smith 2. Wise 2. Contemporary owner signature dated year of publication.
Minor stain to lower corner of first few leaves, rear inner paper hinge tender, text generally clean, a few minor discolorations to cloth, gilt bright. An extremely good copy.