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    The First Book Appearance of "Heart of Darkness"

    Joseph Conrad. Youth: A Narrative and Two Other Stories. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1902.

    First English edition in book form. Octavo (7.375 x 5 inches; 188 x 127 mm.). [8], 375, [1, blank] pages plus 32 pages publisher's catalog, dated "11/02" at the foot of page 32.

    Original pale green linen-grain cloth decoratively stamped and lettered in black on the front cover and decoratively stamped in black and lettered in gilt on the spine. Minimal rubbing to corners and spine extremities, top edge very slightly dust soiled. Leaves H5 and H6 (pages 121/122 and 123/124) and H7 and H8 (pages 125/126 and 127/128) are unopened at the upper fore-edge. Over-opened at gathering O (between pages 208 and 209). Two tiny stains in the outer blank margin of page 165, tiny white adhesion in the upper blank margin of page 196. Otherwise a very fine copy, clean and fresh, with the gilt on the spine exceptionally bright. Neat pencil annotation on the rear pastedown: "Pd JNT 3/21/03." Chemised in a quarter dark green morocco book-backed slipcase with the spine ruled and lettered in gilt with five raised bands.

    "Youth was published on November 13, 1902, in an edition of 3,150 copies" (Smith). These stories were published earlier in Blackwood's Magazine: "Youth" in September 1898; "Heart of Darkness" in February, March, and April 1899; and "The End of the Tether" from July through December 1902.

    "Three stories including 'Heart of Darkness' from which Eliot took the epigraph 'Mistah Kurtz. He dead' for his 'Hollow Men'. This account of a superman running an ivory business in the heart of the Congo for a greedy sanctimonious Belgian company and brutalising himself and the natives in the process, is a masterpiece of sinister deterioration seen by a narrator who is himself profoundly altered by it. (Conrad was for a time captain of a Congo river steamer.) Kurtz is a Dorian Gray whose picture gets a little more frightening with every brush-stroke until in the final scenes everyone within reach - but one - is contaminated" (Connolly, The Modern Movement, 14).

    Smith, Conrad, 8.

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