Author: Joseph Conrad
Conrad, Joseph (born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski), 1857-1924. Novelist. He was born in Podolia, now part of the Ukraine. His parents, Apollo Korzeniowski and Evelina Bobrowski, came from Polish nobility and were opposed to the Tsarist domination of their country. Apollo's involvement in political conspiracy resulted in exile to Vologda (north-west of Moscow). Here Conrad's mother died when he was seven. Apollo returned to Poland, dying of tuberculosis four years later. Conrad's wish to go to sea, to serve on French vessels, certainly had the advantage of sparing him service in the Russian army. He went to Marseilles, and began the 20 years of his sea career. Conrad was involved in a number of gun-running voyages to Spain for the Carlists, which ended in disaster. In 1878 he began service on English ships; in 1880 he passed the second mate's examination, and in 1884 that for first mate. He become a naturalised British subject in 1886, and received his master's certificate from the Board of Trade. He died in 1924 at his home near Canterbury. Books: The Mirror of the Sea (1906); The Arrow of Gold (1919); The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897); Lord Jim (1900), The Secret Agent (1907), etc.