Youth : A Narrative, and Two Other Stories - Joseph Conrad 1902 - William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London - First Edition with second state of publisher&rsquo ‘The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.

First edition of Conrad's acclaimed short story collection, including his masterpiece '
The Heart of Darkness', which with its generation of visual scene upon visual scene each charged with more intense emotive impact, and a final cumulative effect of human imbecility, evil and horror, is now regarded as one of the greatest short stories ever written.

‘I couldn't help asking him once what he meant by coming here at all. “To make money, of course. What do you think?” he said scornfully.


The Horror! The Horror!
  ‘This account of a superman running an ivory business in the heart of the Congo for a greedy sanctimonious Belgian company and brutalising himself and the natives in the process, is a masterpiece of sinister deterioration seen by a narrator who is himself profoundly altered by it. (Conrad was for a time captain of a Congo river steamer.) Kurtz is a Dorian Gray whose picture gets a little more frightening with every brush-stroke until in the final scenes everyone within reach - but one - is contaminated’ – Cyril Connolly, The Modern Movement.

The first book publication of Conrad's classic
Heart of Darkness. ‘Conrad's masterpiece. a novella that has inspired more critical commentary than any modern horror tale, with the possible exception of James's The Turn of the Screw.’

Jozef Teodor Conrad Korzeniowski [1857-1924], Polish, born in Russia and considered by many as one of the best 20th century novelists. Conrad spent over twenty years at sea, initially with the French merchant marine, joining the British Merchant Service after building up gambling debts that led to attempted suicide and financial bail-out by his uncle. Conrad travelled to the major ports of the world and places such as the Malay Archipelago, the Gulf of Siam and the Belgian Congo, that were the basis of many of his later novels.

'He's absolutely the most haunting thing in prose that ever was: I wish I knew how every paragraph he writes (...they are all paragraphs: he seldom writes a single sentence...) goes on sounding in waves, like the note of a tenor bell, after it stops. It's not built in the rhythm of ordinary prose, but on something existing only in his head, and as he can never say what it is he wants to say, all his things end in a kind of hunger, a suggestion of something he can't say or do or think.' - T.E. Lawrence.


One of only 3,150 copies printed of the First Edition, published on November 13, 1902 (Smith). These stories were published earlier in Blackwood's Magazine: ‘
Youth’ in September 1898; ‘Heart of Darkness’ in February, March, and April 1899; and ‘The End of the Tether’ from July through December 1902.

Provenance: Francis ‘Frank’ E. Marshall (1847-1922) of Hawse End, Keswick in the English Lake District with his signature DATED 1913 and short note to front. Frank Marshall was a mathematics master at Harrow School and the father of prominent Suffragist and Peace Activist Catherine Marshall (1880-1961).

Reference: Cyril Connolly,
The Modern Movement 25. Cagle, Bibliography of Joseph Conrad, A7a. Wise, A Conrad Bibliography, 10. Smith, Joseph Conrad: A Bibliographical Catalogue, 8.

Octavo (book size 19.7x14.2cm, page size 18.9x12.7cm), pp. [8] 375 [1] 32 (publisher’s advertisements dated 11/02). Publisher’s grey green cloth, spine lettered in gilt and decorated in black, front board lettered and decorated in black.
  Condition: Very good, some wear to edges and spine ends, gilt still strong to spine, gentle raising of cloth to upper board, internally near fine with faint foxing to endpapers, prelims and last pages of catalogue.   Ref: 111507   Price: HK$ 15,000