[1 of 25, this copy inscribed] London: Printed for Private Circulation (by Thomas J. Wise), 1919. Original light grey wrappers.
First Edition, being one of only 25 copies (so stated; this copy is un-numbered, as it was for presentation -- see below). This was the first of Thomas J. Wise's twenty very-limited-issue Conrad pamphlets produced during the twelve months between February 1919 and January 1920; this title is long enough (66 pages) that the wrapper is glued on, rather than being stitched together with the leaves. (As spelled out by Cagle (pp 251-256), Conrad was very much involved in these items -- wanting a share of the considerable cash collectors would pay for them, but also wanting to distance himself from the implied mercantilism that angered his less-affluent fans.) AUTOCRACY AND WAR had appeared in the July 1905 issue of Fortnightly Review, and would later be collected in NOTES ON LIFE & LETTERS.~This is a fine copy (small glue-stains from the binding process near the gutter of some leaves, as we have seen on other copies). Cagle A25. Housed in an attractive morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise.~This is an inscribed presentation copy by Conrad: on the front wrapper appears, in his hand, "J.B.P. affectionately from J.C. 1919." The recipient was Conrad's literary agent J.B. Pinker -- not just his literary agent, but his close friend as well. Pinker was especially important to Conrad during "the lean years," the half-dozen years before the great success of CHANCE in 1914; during these years Pinker not only managed Conrad's literary efforts, he also managed, in large part, the Conrads' finances (such that, it is said, Conrad would ask Pinker if it was OK to buy his wife a new coat). Item #13942