Born in 1857 in Poland, Joseph Conrad became a British citizen just before he turned 30. In the intervening years he lost both parents, becoming an orphan at 11, being thereafter raised by an uncle, who let the boy go to Marseille at age 16, where he began to work on merchant ships – which at times included stints of gun running and the intrigue of political conspiracy. At age 36 his life turned from one of ships to one of literary pursuit. Conrad brought to English literature both a fresh layer of style and a deeper examination of the human psyche in a wealth of works. He wrote many novels, which are correctly regarded today as some of the finest in English literature. Among their canon are Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Shadow Line, and of course Heart of Darkness.
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