Joseph Conrad occupies a special place in the literature of London's port. Unlike other great writers such as Dickens, Conrad knew very well what he was writing about. Before becoming a full-time writer, he spent 19 years in the French and British merchant navies, working his way up to the rank of master.
|Joseph Conrad's Master's Certificate. © NMM|
He sailed all the main trade routes in the southern hemisphere and the Caribbean, and was familiar with the docks and wharves of London and many other ports.
|The South West India Dock in the 1880s. © NMM|
Most remarkable of all, this superb writer of English prose spoke no English until he was 19. He had been born Józef Korzeniowski, into a Polish family living in the Ukraine.
His fame rests mainly on his classics such as Nostromo, Lord Jim, and Heart of Darkness, but his lesser-known novels Chance and The Mirror of the Sea contain the finest descriptions of London's port ever written.