Typhoon And Other Stories.

"There are on sea and land such men thus fortunate--or thus disdained by destiny or by the sea": First English edition, first printing of Joseph Conrad's Typhoon And Other Stories

Typhoon And Other Stories.

CONRAD, Joseph.


Item Number: 104523

London: William Heinemann, 1903.

First English edition, first printing of this collection of stories, including the thrilling titular novella, “generally thought to inaugurate Conrad’s period of artistic maturity.” Octavo, original Cagle’s binding A with only the top edge trimmed and with 110 mm between “Conrad” and “Heinemann” on the spine, with gilt titles to the spine and front panel. One of only 1500 of the 3000 copies issued in the first printing with the windmill device on the title page and without “Reserved for the Colonies only” on the verso of the half title, and including the 32 pages of advertisements at rear which appear only in some copies. After the New York publication, Conrad made final revisions to “Typhoon” before the present English publication which also includes three other stories, “Amy Foster”, “Falk”, and “To-Morrow”. (Cagle, A8b; Smith, 9; Wise, 13). In fine condition. A superior example.

Typhoon is most likely based upon Conrad's actual experience of seaman's life, and probably on a real incident aboard of the steamer John P. Best. The tale describes the exploits of Captain MacWhirr as he sails the s/s Nan-Shan, a British-built steamer running under the Siamese flag, into a typhoon in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. Other characters include the young Jukes (most probably an alter ego of Conrad from the time he had sailed under captain John McWhirr and Solomon Rout, the chief engineer). The novella classically evokes the seafaring life at the turn of the century. While Macwhirr, who, according to Conrad, "never walked on this Earth", is emotionally estranged from his family and crew, and though he refuses to consider an alternate course to skirt the typhoon, his indomitable will in the face of a superior natural force elicits grudging admiration. "This richly and consistently ironic tale is generally thought to inaugurate Conrad's period of artistic maturity" (Kermode, 9).

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