An Outcast of the Islands
London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1896. Item #05094
A Superb Sangorski & Sutcliffe Cosway-Style Binding
First Edition, First Issue of Joseph Conrad's Second Novel
COSWAY-STYLE BINDING. SANGORSKI & SUTCLIFFE, binders. CONRAD, Joseph. An Outcast of the Islands. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1896.
First edition, first issue.
Octavo (7 3/4 x 4 7/8 inches; 197 x 124 mm.). [ii, ads], [vi], 391,  pp. Title-page in red and black.
First issue, with "this" for "their" on p. 26, line 31; "Absolution" for "ablution" p. 110, line 12; "9" missing on p. 129;
and "hate" for "fate" on p. 356, line 26.
Bound ca, 1940 by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, stamp-signed in gilt on rear turn-in. Full dark blue crushed levant morocco over beveled boards, covers elaborately bordered in gilt with decorative anchor corner-pieces, front cover with a sailing ship in gilt. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, gilt-ruled board-edges and turn-ins, blue watered silk endleaves. Inside front cover with a large rectangular panel of green morocco with a superb and exquisite oval portrait miniature of Joseph Conrad (3 x 2 3/8 inches) under glass and surrounded by a gilt metal frame. Original green cloth covers and spine bound in at end. Housed in the original fleece-lined blue cloth clamshell case, spine lettered in gilt. Front hinge of clamshell case neatly repaired, otherwise fine.
Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski (1857-1924) was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he became a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature. Conrad wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of what he saw as an impassive, inscrutable universe. Conrad is considered an early modernist, though his works contain elements of nineteenth-century realism. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters, as in Lord Jim, for example, have influenced numerous authors. Many dramatic films have been adapted from, or inspired by, his works. Numerous writers and critics have commented that Conrad's fictional works, written largely in the first two decades of the 20th century, seem to have anticipated later world events.
An Outcast of the Islands was the second novel by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1896, and inspired by Conrad's experience as mate of a steamer, the Vidar. The novel details the undoing of Peter Willems, a disreputable, immoral man who, on the run from a scandal in Makassar, finds refuge in a hidden native village, only to betray his benefactors over his lust for the tribal chief's daughter. The story features Conrad's recurring character Tom Lingard, who also appears in Almayer's Folly (1895), in addition to sharing other characters with that novel. It is considered by many to be underrated as a work of literature. Conrad romanticizes the jungle environment and its inhabitants in a similar style to that of his Heart of Darkness.