See the Original Magazine Publication of Heart of Darkness and Other Great Works by Joseph Conrad


Like many oth­er nov­el­ists of his era, Joseph Con­rad began by pub­lish­ing his work in seri­al­ized mag­a­zines. Nov­el seri­al­iza­tion, which had first gained pop­u­lar­i­ty and com­mer­cial appeal with Charles Dick­ens’ Pick­wick Papers in 1836, was com­mon­place through­out the 19th cen­tu­ry. By the time that Con­rad released his first nov­el in 1895, enti­tled Almayer’s Fol­ly, pub­lish­ing seri­ous work with­in the pages of week­ly lit­er­ary peri­od­i­cals had become de rigueur. Indeed, Scribner’s Month­ly mag­a­zine not­ed that it is the “sec­ond and third rate nov­el­ist who could not get pub­lished in a mag­a­zine and is oblig­ed to pub­lish in a vol­ume, and it is in a mag­a­zine that the best nov­el­ists always appear first.” Although Scrib­n­er’s claim doubt­less con­tains an ele­ment of self-pro­mo­tion, one can­not deny that it is pre­cise­ly through seri­al­ized pub­li­ca­tion that Con­rad  joined the ranks of lit­er­ary greats such as Alexan­dre Dumas, Hen­ry James, Gus­tave Flaubert, and Leo Tol­stoy.

Through the web­site Con­rad First: The Joseph Con­rad Peri­od­i­cal Archive, con­tem­po­rary read­ers can enjoy the orig­i­nal, dig­i­tized ver­sions of Conrad’s first edi­tions. The data­base, which holds some 80,000 images and links to over a hun­dred peri­od­i­cals, includes the orig­i­nal releas­es for Conrad’s many nov­els, includ­ing Heart of Dark­ness (1899, Black­wood’s Mag­a­zine), Lord Jim (1899, Black­wood’s Mag­a­zine), Nos­tro­mo (1904, T.P.‘s Week­ly), and The Secret Agent (1906, Ridg­way’s Mag­a­zine), as well as essays, such as Rud­yard Kipling: A Crit­i­cism on His Poems and A pro­pos of Alphonse Daudet. For those more inter­est­ed in house­hold goods of yore than Con­rad’s prose, these pages will also prove enjoy­able; ads for the Har­lene Rem­e­dy for Bald­ness and requests implor­ing read­ers to Employ British Labour abound.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Alfred Hitch­cock Adapts Joseph Conrad’s Nov­el of Ter­ror­ism in Sab­o­tage (1936)

Lis­ten as Orson Welles Reads ‘The Secret Shar­er,’ by Joseph Con­rad

We Were Wan­der­ers on a Pre­his­toric Earth: A Short Film Inspired by Joseph Con­rad

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