“Never test another man by your own weakness": First Edition of Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim; Inscribed by Him
Item Number: 78009
New York: Doubleday & McClure Co, 1901.
First American edition of one of Conrad’s finest novels. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Signed for Richard Curle by Joseph Conrad this 24 January 1920.” Laid into this volume is also a letter from Curle, dated November 11th, 1922, which begins, “I saw in a catalogue a copy of a book signed to me by Conrad and thought to discover how it had got there…” Curle was a Scottish author, traveler and bibliophile and was a frequent correspondent of Conrad’s, for whom he acted as an assistant during the novelist’s later years. In excellent condition with some minor toning to the spine and light wear to the extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association copy, most rare and desirable signed and inscribed and with noted provenance.
"In a moment of crisis, an idealistic ship's officer abandons his post, leaving several hundred passengers to drown. The event at the center of Joseph Conrad's acclaimed novel establishes the character and fate of Jim. Tormented by his defection from his code of conduct, Jim embarks on the globe-traveling quest to regain honor. In the process, he insinuates himself as a leader among a people unaware of his past. Arthur Symons and other critics read Lord Jim as an exploration of Conrad's own 'ideal of an applauded heroism', an ideal that confronts the demands of pragmatism. Others see an allegory for Conrad's guilt over abandoning his native Poland or, alternatively, a story of universal shame. Conrad has come under modern attack for associating 'natives' with chaos and evil. But in Conrad's novels, it is ultimately the colonial system itself that is fraught with horror." (NYPL Books of the Century 67). Listed by Modern Library as one of the 100 great novels of the twentieth century.