Before he published his first novel in 1895, Joseph Conrad spent twenty years in the merchant navy, eventually obtaining his masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ticket and commanding the barque Otago, in which he sailed a notable passage from Sydney to Mauritius. This book traces his sea-career, and shows how Captain Jozef Konrad Korzeniowski, master mariner, became Joseph Conrad, master novelist.
Conrad was injured on the Highland Forest, burned out of the Palestine, falsely censured for professional misconduct by the master of the Riversdale, survived a brief and dangerous posting as a river-boat captain on the CongoÃ¢â‚¬â€and finally served as first officer on the famous Torrens, a passenger ship sailing between Adelaide and Great Britain.
Alan Villiers, world-renowned author and master mariner under sail, was uniquely qualified to comment on ConradÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life at sea, and his study of the great novelist has now been completed by his son Peter. In addition to a new analysis of Conrad as mariner, the book contains a wealth of detail about the merchant service in the late nineteenth centuryÃ¢â‚¬â€the economics of sail, the cargoes, the competition with steam, the skill and teamwork required to maneuver a windjammer, the harsh realities and dangers of everyday life at sea. 125pages PB