Bringing together work composed from 1890 to 1924, the nineteen pieces collected in the posthumously published Last Essays (1926) serve as a primer to Conrad's wide interests and to the varieties of his style. This edition, supported by an extensive textual apparatus, brings together various prose pieces, including reminiscences, reviews, essays on the sea and politics, as well as several miscellaneous items, including his ‘Congo Diary' and the other notebook he kept in Africa in 1890. The introduction situates these writings in Conrad's career, offers new perspectives on Conrad in the marketplace and as a writer of occasional prose and traces the contemporary reception of the volume. The notes explain literary and historical references, identify real-life places and indicate Conrad's main sources. Early drafts and notes for several essays are published here for the first time, making this authoritative critical edition a major contribution to Conrad studies.
Preface; Chronology; Abbreviations and note on editions; Introduction; Last Essays: Geography and Some Explorers; The Torrens: A Personal Tribute; Christmas-Day At Sea; Ocean Travel; Outside Literature; Legends; The Unlighted Coast; The Dover Patrol; Memorandum; The Loss of the Dalgonar; Travel: Preface to Richard Curle's 'Into the East'; Stephen Crane: Introduction to Thomas Beer's 'Stephen Crane: A Study in American Letters'; His War-book: Introduction to Stephen Crane's 'The Red Badge of Courage'; John Galsworthy: an appreciation; A Glance at Two Books; Preface to 'The Shorter Tales of Joseph Conrad'; Cookery: Preface to Jessie Conrad's 'A Handbook of Cookery for a Small House'; The Future of Constantinople; The Congo notebooks: The Congo Diary; Up-River Book; Uncollected essays: The Silence of the Sea; Author's Note to 'Youth' and 'Gaspar Ruiz'; Introductory note to 'A Hugh Walpole Anthology'; Foreword to 'Landscapes of Corsica and Ireland' by A. S. Kinkead; Foreword to 'Britain's Life-boats: The Story of a Century of Heroic Service' by A. J. Dawson; Appendices: A. Richard Curle's introductions to Last Essays and 'The Congo Diary'; B. The Dalgonar incident: the London Mercury texts; C. Preface to The Shorter Tales of Joseph Conrad: two rejected drafts; D. Note on the Torrens and Notes for 'Travel'; 'Geography': Ur-version of 'Geography and Some Explorers'; The texts: an essay; Apparatus; Textual notes; Glossary of nautical terms; Notes.
"Throughout, Last Essays displays the rigours of the editors’ art, with a detailed introduction, informative textual essa y, illustrations, explanatory notes, maps, and an apparatus to rival those so far produced in the Cambridge edition." -Richard Niland, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920