A Conrad Companion, 1st Edition by Norman Page (auth.)

By Norman Page (auth.)

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Extra info for A Conrad Companion, 1st Edition

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ENGLAND According to his own account, Conrad heard his first words of spoken English on board the Mavis, a British steamer which he joined in Marseilles in April 1878 for a voyage to the eastern Mediterranean; a couple of months later, when the Mavis arrived in Lowestoft harbour, he set foot on English soil for the first time, at the age of twenty. He visited London at this time, and again in October of the same year. Between the two visits he made three trips between Lowestoft and Newcastle on another boat.

THE EAST Throughout almost the whole of his writing life, from his first novel A/mayer's Folly (1895) to The Rescue {1920), Conrad drew heavily on his own experiences as a merchant seaman in the Far East, mainly in the region now known as South-East Asia and in the countries known in Conrad's day as Siam, Malaya, Java, Sumatra and Borneo. In the 'Author's Note' to The Shadow-Line he speaks of'that part of the Eastern Seas from which I have carried away into my writing life the greatest number of suggestions'; and the parallels between fact and fiction in respect of scenes, personalities, and even proper names have been shown to be numerous and close (see, for example, under Ellis, Lingard and Olmeijer in 'A Conrad Who's Who').

Walking along an undulating plain towards the Inkandu market on a hill. Hot, thirsty and tired. At II arrived on the m[ar]ket place. About 200 people. Business brisk. No water; no camp[in]g place. After remaining for one hour left in search of a resting place. Row 44 A Conrad Companion with carriers. No water. M. camped on an exposed hill side near a muddy creek. No shade. Tent on a slope. Sun heavy. Wretched .... Night miserably cold. No sleep. Mosquitoes. Between this uncomfortable siesta and this sleepless night, the party tramped a distance of 22 miles.

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