The Mirror of the Sea
by Joseph Conrad

“Unlike landscape the sea has no past, no topography . . . Look out on it, try and define it and like Conrad here, you will reveal only your own innermost thinking.” Philip Marsden

When Joseph Conrad was discharged from the clipper Torrens in London during the summer of 1893, his seafaring career was over. He had travelled the world by then, risen in rank from apprentice to captain, survived shipwreck and turbulent seas. But after nineteen years afloat he longed for the land, and wrote to his cousin of the ‘uniform grey of my existence’. Once ashore, however, vivid memories of his past life began to surface. While steam and internal combustion were changing maritime travel forever, Conrad started to reflect on the voyages he had made in the Golden Age of Sail. The Mirror of the Sea is a personal meditation on the sea and its meanings by one of the twentieth century’s most important novelists. Our edition contains the originally planned illustrations by John Everett.

Read Philip Marsden’s introduction

Paperback with flaps | 216 x 156 mm | 200 pages

Cover and colour plates by John Everett

£12.00

In stock

Joseph Conrad was born in Berdychiv, a town in the Polish Ukraine. He was introduced to the English language at the age of eight by his father, a poet and Polish patriot, who translated the works of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo. In 1861, when his father was arrested for his role in the Polish Insurrection, the whole family was sent into exile at Vologda, northern Russia. Both his parents later died from tuberculosis, and in 1869 Conrad went to live with his uncle, attending schools in Cracow and Switzerland. Bored by his formal education, hungry for the kind of adventures he had read about as a boy, he left for Marseilles in 1874, aged sixteen, to begin his career in the French and British merchant navies. In 1894 he settled in Britain to a life of writing, where he began work on several novels that would come to be recognised as masterpieces of the twentieth century: Heart of Darkness (1899), Lord Jim (1900), Nostromo (1904) and The Secret Agent (1907).