Joseph Conrad was born in Poland in 1857 (then under the Russian rule). His real name was Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski.
He belonged to a highly patriotic, impoverished Polish noble family.
His father, Apollo Korzeniowski, was a writer of politically themed plays, and a translator of Alfred de Vigny, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare, from the French andEnglish. He encouraged his son Conrad to read widely in Polish and French.
In 1861, Conrad´s father was arrested by Imperial Russian authorities in Warsaw for helping organize, and was exiled to Vologda, a very harsh climate city in Siberia, approximately 480km north of Moscow. In 1865, because of his wife´s weak health, he was allowed to move to Chernihiv, Ukraine. Once there and after a fewweeks, Conrad´s mother died of tuberculosis. Then, Apollo sent Conrad to his maternal uncle in Krakow to be educated.
Although his father died in the same city where Conrad stayed with his uncle, he never again saw his father.
Being fifteen, he went to sea, to Marseilles in 1874, and from there he made a number of voyages on French merchant ships to Martinique and the West Indies.
In 1878 he signedon an English ship where he learned English (he did not learn it until his twenties). Thus launched on a carcer in the British Merchant Service, and obtained a master´s certificate in 1886. In this year he became a naturalized British subject.
He received his first command in 1888 and two years later took a steamboat up the Congo River in nightmarish conditions that are told in Heart ofDarkness. This voyage caused him malarial gout, which affected his wrists so much that he often found writing painful. The voyage also haunted his imagination.
As a member of the French Merchant marine sailing out of Marseilles, young Conrad was involved in a Carlist conspiracy to place the Duke of Madrid on the Spanish throne.
Although possessed of a master´s certificate, Conrad disappointed aboutfinding the kind of job as master that he would have wished to, and occasionally he had to serve in lesser capacities.
In 1894, aged 36, Conrad gave up the sea because of both his bad health and his new fascination with writing.
His first novel Almayer´s Folly, published in 1895, changed his life.
With this success came An Outcast of the Islands, what gave Conrad the reputation of a romantic tellerof exotic tales, a misunderstanding of his purpose that was to frustrate Conrad for the rest of his life and career.
Except for several vacations in France and Italy, a 1914 journey to Poland, and a 1923 visit to the United States, he lived in England, more exactly in London, where he settled in 1896 with his wife Jessie Chambers.
Joseph Conrad died the 3rd of August in1924 of a heart attackand was interred at Canterbury Cementer, Canterbury, England, under the name of Korzeniowski.
Many critics regard him as one of the greatest novelists in the English language.
Conrad is recognized as a master prose stylist. Some of his works have a strain of romanticism and modernism by the time. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many writers.
Writing during the apexof the British Empire, Conrad drew upon his experiences serving in the French and the British Merchant Navy to create novels and short stories that reflected aspects of a world-wide empire while also plumbing the depths of the human soul.
1895 Almayer´s Folly
1896 An Outcast of the Islands
1897 The Nigger of the “Narcisus”
1899 Heart of Darkness
1900 Lord Jim
1901 The Inheritors
1907 The Secret Agent
1909 The Secret Sharer
1911 Under Western Eyes
1917 The Shadow Line
1919 The Arrow of Gold
1920 The Rescue
1923 The Nature of a Crime
1925 Suspense: A Napoleonic Novel
In reference to his style, we could say that Conrad was considered for a long time as a sea writer whose exotic descriptions of eastern...