[one of only 51 copies] A Tale in Two Parts. London: Methuen & Co., (1913). 8 pp ads dated Autumn 1913. Original green cloth with gilt-decorated spine.
First Edition, first (pre-publication) state, with the INTEGRAL title page reading "First Published in 1913" on the verso. CHANCE is not one of Conrad's best-known tales today, but for him personally, it was his most important work (along with his first, ALMAYER'S FOLLY): from about 1904 to 1912 he was in financial difficulties that brought on depression, but CHANCE was a huge hit that revived his finances, revived his spirits, and also revived interest in (and re-printings of) his previous books.~CHANCE is also the most complex, bibliographically, of all of Conrad's works... The book was printed in late 1913, and a small number (the publisher indicated 51) were delivered to associates and critics -- these copies have an integral (not tipped-in) title page dated 1913 on the verso, and are further identifiable by the 44mm vertical gap between Conrad's name and the quotation on the title page. However, a binder's strike delayed actual publication until 1914, so in all remaining copies, the 1913 title leaf was excised and a "First Published in 1914" (or later, "First Published in 1913") cancel leaf was tipped in -- which has a vertical gap of only 29.5mm.~As for variations that appear (without known precedence) among copies of this edition: this one reads "METHUEN" at the foot of the spine, it does have the closing quotation marks after "Narcissus" on the half-title verso, and it does have Lunn's THE HARROVIANS on page 6 of the ads.~This is a handsome copy with scarcely any wear -- fine except that there is minor foxing of the wove paper toward each end of the book; the front pastedown bears the bookplate of Harold Nickson. The true-1913 CHANCE is one of Conrad's most sought-after works. Cagle A17a1. Item #13481