Chance: A Tale in Two Parts.

"In this book I made an attempt to grapple with characters generally foreign to the body of my work": Joseph Conrad's first successful novel Chance: A Tale in Two Parts; With a Full Page Inscription by Him

Chance: A Tale in Two Parts.

CONRAD, Joseph.

Item Number: 101951

London: Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1914.

First edition, first printing with the canceled title page of Conrad’s first major success. Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, with the date 1914 to the verso of the title page, “Methven” to the backstrip, closed quotation marks around “Narcissus” in Conrad’s list of works, 8 pages of publisher’s advertisements dated “Autumn 1913” and 31 dated “September 1913” at rear. Due to a delay that postponed the present volume’s publication until the spring of 1914, the printing of an updated title pages became necessary. Roughly 50 copies of the first printing were issued with the uncanceled title page reading “First published in 1913” on the verso. Presentation copy, lengthily inscribed by Joseph Conrad on the front free endpaper, “In this book I made an attempt to to grapple with characters generally foreign to the body of my work and tried to present them coloquially [sic] Joseph Conrad.” From the library of American bibliophile Charles C. Auchincloss with his bookplate to the pastedown. In near fine condition. 

Although Conrad's early novel Chance was not one upon which his later critical reputation was to depend, it was his greatest commercial success upon initial publication. Narrated by Conrad's regular narrator, Charles Marlow, Chance is characterized by a complex narrative in which a number of narrators take up the story at different points. The novel is also unusual among its author's works for its focus on a female character: the heroine, Flora de Barral. Breaking away from tradition, Chance dealt with social issues surrounding feminism and financial speculation with a storyline that oscillated between human will and an opposing "apathetic" force which nullified the importance of human action.

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