London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1895. First edition. Original hunter green publisher's cloth, top edges gilt. Spine ends very slightly bumped, internally fresh and pleasing. Bookplates of previous owners J.S.S. and Christian Heuer to front pastedown. Publisher's perforated stamp "With the Publisher's Compliments" to the upper right of the title page affecting the word "Folly." A Near Fine copy, with the first issue points of the omitted "e" in "generosity" on page 100; omission of the word "of" on the same page; and omission of the title's full stop on page 43. Quite a rare book, especially in nice condition, as only 1,100 copies were printed according to the author. The present copy is signed and inscribed by the author on the front endpaper: "My very first attempt at writing, as related as A Personal Record. J.C." Housed in a custom quarter morocco slipcase with chemise.
Conrad's first novel set the tone for his literary career, and it has been hailed as a thought-provoking reflection on human nature and the intersection of cultures. Set in turn of the century Borneo, the story depicts the rapid rise and fall of Kaspar Almayer, a Dutch merchant struggling to develop his own trade and suffering an unhappy marriage to a Malayan. It only Almayer's daughter Nina who brings light to his life, which is largely shaped by greed and prejudice. Near Fine (Item #4010)