“AHEAD A SHADOW-LINE WARNING ONE THAT THE REGION OF EARLY YOUTH, TOO, MUST BE LEFT BEHIND”
CONRAD, Joseph. The Shadow Line: A Confession. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, (1917). Octavo, original gray-green cloth decorated in red, original dust jacket. $2800.
First edition of this autobiographical novel, based on Conrad’s 1888 first command. A lovely copy in the scarce original dust jacket.
Of this book Conrad has written: "This story has been in my mind for some years. Originally I used to think of it under the name of First Command. When I managed in the second year of war to concentrate my mind sufficiently to begin working I turned to this subject as the easiest. But in consequence of my changed mental attitude to it, it became The Shadow Line." This novel tells the story of an extraordinary experience of Conrad's first command, as Captain of the Otago, while bound from Bangkok to Australia. It was on January 5, 1888, while at Singapore, that Conrad suddenly decided to throw up his berth on the Vidar and while preparing to return to Europe in search of a ship, circumstances unexpectedly put him in the way of just what he wanted—the command of a sailing vessel (Keating, 263-64). First serialized in The English Review September 1916-March 1917. "The English Review version was substantially revised… Conrad continued polishing while reading proof… Possibly, by the time he returned these to Dent it was too late to forward the corrections to Doubleday, Page. In any event, these final changes are incorporated in the English but not the American edition" (Cagle). With 18 pages of publisher's advertisements bound in at rear. Cagle A21.a.1. Keating 119.
Book fine, scarce original dust jacket, usually not present, with shallow chipping to ends of mildly toned spine, front and rear panels clean and bright, very good. A very nice copy in unrestored original dust jacket.