Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski was born in the Ukraine on 3 December 1857. His parents were Polish and had both died in exile by the time Conrad was eleven. His uncle then became his guardian and looked after him in Krakow until he was sixteen when he went to sea and sailed on French and British ships. He was made British citizen in 1886 and changed his name to Joseph Conrad. In 1889 Conrad visited the Congo and his experiences there inspired Heart of Darkness. In 1894 he published his first novel, Almayer's Folly and went on to write nineteen more as well as many short stories, essays and a memoir. In 1896 he married Jessie George and they later had two sons. Conrad died on 3 August 1924.
Hesperus's centenary edition of the Conrad classic also includes The Congo Diary and Up-River Book, which essentially are notes from his six-month stay in the Congo in 1890. His travels there and sojourn on the river apparently served as the inspiration for the novel. The book also features introductions for Heart and The Congo Diary as well as textual notes for all sections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.