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Lot 68: CONRAD, JOSEPH. Lord Jim. A Tale.
10 November 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: CONRAD, JOSEPH. Lord Jim. A Tale. 8vo, original green decorated cloth, spine lettered in gilt, minor rubbing to extremities, spine discolored with gilt dulled; front hinge starting but sound, Eugene Plunkett bookplate (and penciled numerals) and unobtrusive Henry Sotheran & Co. Bookseller label on front pastedown offset to facing flyleaf, ownership inscription above bookplate, few penciled notes at rear. London and Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1900
first edition, an important literary association copy, inscribed to r.b. cunninghame graham in black ink on the front free endpaper: "To / R.B. Cunninghame Graham / affectionately from / the Author." First issue, with the following points: "any rate" is printed as one word on page 77, line 5; "keep" is missing after "can" and "cure" should be "cured" on page 226, seven lines from the bottom; "his" is printed low and not aligned with the other words on page 319, last line.
R.B. Cunninghame Graham and Conrad enjoyed a frequent and important correspondence and Graham's many years as a traveller and rancher in South America is acknowledged as inspiration for Conrad's novel Nostromo, especially so in that Conrad was relatively unfamiliar with the area. "He [Graham] was variously traveller, cattle-rancher and horse-dealer, fencing master, Liberal M.P., pioneer socialist, political columnist, essayist, critic, story-writer [...]." Their letters spanned some twenty-five years with the majority written between 1897 and 1904, during which time Conrad reached full maturity as a novelist.
"Originally William Blackwood and Conrad had intended Youth, Heart of Darkness and the then unfinished Lord Jim to appear as one volume. On 12 February 1899 Conrad had written to Blackwood: 'Re volume of short stories. I wished for some time to ask you whether you would object to my dedicating the Vol: to R.B. Cunninghame Graham. Strictly speaking it.....is a matter between the dedicator and the other person, but in this case--considering the imprint of the House and your own convictions I would prefer to defer to your wishes. I do not dedicate to C. Graham the socialist or to C. Graham the aristocrat (he is both--you know) but to one of the few men I know--in the full sense of the word--and knowing cannot but appreciate and respect--abstractedly as human beings. I do not share his political convictions or even all his ideas of art, but we have enough ideas in common to base a strong friendship upon. Should you dislike the notion I'll inscribe the Rescue to him instead of the Tales' (Blackburn, pp. 51-2). But when Youth: A Narrative and Two Other Tales appeared in November 1902, it bore the dedication 'To My Wife'; and eventually it was the volume Typhoon which was dedicated to Graham: partly because Typhoon was published by Heinemann, to whom Conrad was less beholden than to Blackwood, and also, perhaps, because the idea for Typhoon may partly have been prompted by Graham" (C.T. Watts, Joseph Conrad's Letters to Cunninghame Graham, Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 7; 136-37). Cagle A5a; Wise 7.