Description

    With an Autograph Letter Signed by Joseph Conrad to T. Fisher Unwin

    Joseph Conrad. Typhoon. Illustrated by Maurice Greiffenhagen. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1902.

    First edition. Octavo (7.125 x 4.8125 inches; 181 x 122 mm.). [2, blank], v, [1, blank], 205, [1, blank], [4, publisher's advertisements] pages. Six inserted plates, including frontispiece, with tissue guard.

    Publisher's dark green cloth with front cover pictorially stamped in dark green, gray, and orange and lettered in orange and spine ruled and lettered in orange. Very slightly skewed; extremities lightly rubbed; a few tiny splits at spine ends; hinges cracked, but holding; top edge slightly dust soiled. Text slightly browned; occasional minor marginal soiling; over-opened at gathering 7 (between pages 96 and 97); faint dampstain to the upper gutter of the plate facing page 148. Bookseller's ticket on the rear pastedown. A very good copy. Chemised in a quarter red morocco book-backed slipcase with the spine lettered in gilt and with five raised bands.

    Laid in is an Autograph Letter Signed by Joseph Conrad to Mr. [T. Fisher] Unwin, dated "3d April 95." Three twelvemo pages (7.0625 x 4 inches; 179 x 114 mm.) on one folded leaf. The paper is a little browned at the edges, and there is one vertical and one horizontal crease. "17 Gillingham St. / S. W. / Dear Mr Unwin / Thanks for your / note informing me of the / arrangement / I have received 4 copies / you have been good / enough to send me / in advance. All but / one are out of the / country. - / The universal clamour / is not for gifts. The / enthusiastic persons / want to buy the book. / BUY! My dear Sir. They / have had their mo= / ney in their hands / on the first of march / then on the 18th. And / now they are gone into convents, or be= / came hermits, or / committed suicide / from despair at / repeated disappointe= / ments. This - from / the point of view / of the Publisher (and / the Author's too) is very / deplorable. Don't / you think so? / I am afraid / brother Jonathan won't / be ready for another / month. Well, Even / a very long lane has a turning - somewhere. / I am dear Sir / Yours very faithfully / J. Conrad."

    This letter, in which Conrad refers to Almayer's Folly, is published on page 15 (identified as "Text TS copy Bodley; Unpublished") of The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Volume 9: Uncollected Letters, 1892-1923, from a "transcription made by Hodgson & Co. of an original letter signed (unlocated), sold by them 6-8 June 1928." (All of the letters to Unwin identified in this volume as "TS copy Bodley" have this provenance.)

    "Thomas Fisher Unwin (1898-1935), head of the publishing firm founded in 1882, brought out Almayer's Folly, An Outcast of the Islands, and Tales of Unrest at the beginning of Conrad's career, The Arrow of Gold and The Rover towards its end, and Tales of Hearsay posthumously. Neither his business practices nor his adherence to the Liberal party endeared him to Conrad, and after a difference with Unwin over terms in 1896, Conrad went to W. H. Heinemann" (page 15, note 2). "'Brother Jonathan' is 'the generic name for people of the United States' (OED), derived from a post-Revolutionary ideal of egalitarianism; hence, Conrad's allusion is to the American edition of Almayer's Folly, to be published on 3 May by Macmillan" (page 15, note 4).

    "Typhoon was published on or about September 1902, in an edition presumably of 3,000 copies. The publisher's records indicate, in a July 8 entry, that the publication date was scheduled for September 1. Conrad was to receive a 10% royalty on the first 3,000 copies and 15% after 3,000. Typhoon sold for $1.00 per copy and the records indicate that Conrad was not paid more than $300.00 in total. Thus, my presumption of 3,000 for this first edition" (Smith).

    "The story was first printed in The Pall Mall Magazine, January-March 1902, with Maurice Greiffenhagen's illustrations" (Smith).

    Smith, Conrad, 7.


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