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About This Item
First issue, green cloth, title, author, and publisher in gilt on spine, this was his first major novel and one of his most popular and accessible works, one of 2,105 copies, first issue points: "any rate" is printed as one word on page 77, line 5; "keep" is missing after "can" and "cure" should be "cured" on page 226, seven lines from the bottom; "his" is printed low and not aligned with the other words on page 319, last line, Smith 5, Cagle A5a, Keating 25 and 26, now housed in a custom clamshell case. A very handsome, tight copy, far better than usually encountered.
Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim follows the events that determine the fate of Jim, a young British seaman. Jim becomes first mate on the Patna, a ship full of pilgrims travelling to Mecca for the hajj. When the ship begins taking in water and disaster is sure to follow, Jim joins his captain and other crewmembers in abandoning the ship and its passengers. The crew is saved by a French ship a few days later and soon learns that the Patna and its passengers were also rescued. The crew’s reprehensible actions are exposed. As a trial ensues, Jim must come to terms with his past. Enter Marlow, sea captain and narrator of Lord Jim as well as three of Conrad’s other works (Heart of Darkness, Youth, and Chance). In spite of Jim’s moral unsoundness, Marlow befriends him during the trial and learns the full story of the Patna, which he relates to the reader. The primary event of Lord Jim may have been based in part on an actual abandonment of a ship. On July 17, 1880, S.S. Jeddah sailed for Penang and Jeddah from Singapore with 778 men, 147 women, and 67 children on board. When the vessel began to leak, the crew abandoned the passengers, who were also travelling to Mecca for the hajj. On August 8, 1880, a French steamship found Jeddah, rescuing all of the pilgrims. An official inquiry followed, as it does in the novel. Lord Jim is ranked 85th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. The novel has been adapted for film twice: Lord Jim (1925), directed by Victor Fleming, and Lord Jim (1965), directed by Richard Brooks and starring Peter O'Toole.
Read more: Identifying first editions of Lord Jim
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James M. Dourgarian, Bookman
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About James M. Dourgarian, Bookman
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