[inscribed to John Millais] A Confession. London & Toronto: J. M. Dent & Sons, (1917). 18 pp undated ads. Original light grey-green cloth decorated in brown.
First Edition, first issue (so stated), of Conrad's third autobiographical (though fictionalized) work -- "a Far-Eastern story of a haunted ship... No reader of THE SHADOW-LINE will ever forget the first mate and the silent crew of the schooner which had such mysterious difficulty in passing latitude 8 degrees 20 minutes" [from the ads]. This copy is printed on laid paper, as usual (some copies, perhaps those intended for the colonies, are on wove paper). This is a fine copy (spine lettering slightly dull, as usual for this wartime book). Cagle A21a.1. With the bookplate of the amazing Conrad collector Stanley J. Seeger. Housed in a custom clamshell case.
This copy is inscribed and signed by Conrad, "John Millais | from his friend | J. Conrad | March 1917 [the month of publication]". Sir John Everett Millais (1888-1920), the grandson of the famous Pre-Raphaelite painter by the same name, was a neighbor of the Conrads in Kent, who during the years 1916-1920 frequently came over to play chess with Conrad. A lieutenant in the Royal Navy, he had seen action on board the HMS Stephen Furness, but developed tuberculosis and was forced to retire in 1916, the year before this presentation; he succumbed to the disease in 1920, at the age of 32. His mother and Conrad's wife were also best of friends. Item #12671