London: Methuen & Co., (1906). 40 pp ads dated October 1906. Original green cloth with spine decorated in gilt.
First Edition of Conrad's first volume of nonfiction, a rambling discourse about life on the sea. Though originally planned as a collection of sketches, during preparation for publication Conrad converted it into a continuous book. As he wrote to his agent:
My idea is a sort of reminiscent discourse running on like this: I. II. III. IV. etc etc XX. XXI. and so on, with no titles or blank or half blank pages between; something, in short, like poor Gissing's Ryecroft papers; and only the headings at the top of pages being changed according to the matter created.
"Conrad's method, which was mainly followed, was exceptionally shrewd as a way of getting around the unmarketability of short pieces or even short stories. A continuous book, even his, stood some chance of sales" [Karl].
This copy has October ads; some have ads dated July or August, but the book was not actually published until October. The fore-edge is untrimmed, which is the primary state (some copies, supposedly those headed for libraries, were issued trimmed). Condition is just about fine (one tiny nick at the head of the spine, small address-label on the front paste-down); the original endpapers are not cracked, and there is scarcely any of the usual foxing on the textual leaves within. Cagle A11a, binding a. Item #14703