THE ROVER. Joseph Conrad.


Garden City NY: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1923. Original blue cloth, with dust jacket.

First Trade Edition (preceded one day earlier by a 377-copy special edition), published before the English edition.

In December [1921], Conrad began The Rover as a short story. It was clearly an outgrowth of his stay in Corsica... [which] triggered a whole series of memories and reminiscences about a "seaman's return"; while the historical aspect was clearly part of his research on Suspense... to that period when his [Polish] ancestors enlisted in Napoleon's army in order to join the struggle against Russia... The fact of Peyrol's [the old sailor protagonist's] Frenchness -- he outsmarts the English and helps the French fleet break out of Toulon and escape Nelson's blockade -- suggests that Conrad was still restructuring his own life...

The idea of a "rover," with its ambiguity of a man who, Odysseus-like, strives for experience, had been Conrad's plan in all his major fiction after The Shadow-Line... He was exploring what for him was his political, social, and moral world, that society summed up by life on the sea and those who can understand its message. Some of the passages in The Rover display Conrad in his best form, and they are, not improbably, passages of the sea. [Karl]

This volume is in fine condition (rear endpaper browned), and the jacket is very good-plus (a faint dampmark and the usual sunning of the spine, but very little actual wear). In our opinion the American edition, with its jacket, is considerably less common than its English counterpart. Keating 179. Item #10929

Price: $225.00

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