Corrections and emendations have been made on the basis of a thorough collation of all extant versions of the novel. The text is annotated and is followed by a detailed Textual Appendix consisting of materials on the textual history and present text, a list of textual variants, a glossary of nautical terms, illustrations showing details essential to an understanding of the novel, and an essay written especially for this edition by Denis Murphy, explaining the seamanship used during the storm in Chapter Three. "Backgrounds and Sources" begins with Conrad's "Preface," which originally appeared as an afterword in the fifth magazine installment of the novel but was suppressed in the early book editions. The "Preface" is accompanied by a Textual History and Textual Notes prepared by Thomas Lavoie, and a critical essay by Ian Watt. Also provided are Conrad's preface "To my American Readers" (1914) as well as extracts from letters and essays in which Conrad comments on the ship and the story, and biographical pieces by Edward Garnett (Conrad's informal literary agent and advisor) and G. Jean-Aubry (his first formal biographer).
The section closes with an essay by Gerald Morgan, written for this edition, about the actual ship Narcissus and Conrad's connection to her. "Contemporary Reviews" is followed by critical essays (some written especially for this edition) by Albert Guerard, Ian Watt, Norris W. Yates, Gerald Morgan, Donald T. Torchiana, John E. Saveson, Sanford Pinsker, Robert Foulke, William W. Bonney, John Howard Weston, Paul L. Wiley, and Eugene B. Redmond
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Author Biography - Joseph Conrad
Robert Kimbrough is Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he has taught since he received his Ph.D. from Harvard. He is the author of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida and Its Setting, Sir Philip Sidney, and numerous scholarly articles, and is the editor of the Norton Critical Editions of Heart of Darkness and The Turn of the Screw.