Conrad was born in eastern Podolia, which was then under the rule of the Russian Empire and is now part of the Ukraine, into a family which had seen better days. His father, Count Apollo Nalecz Korzeniowski, was a hard-up aristocrat, a writer, translator and poet. Both his…more
Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness was the basis for Francis Ford Coppola's classic film Apocalypse Now (1979).
A Polish Navy cruiser launched in the 1930s was named 'O.R.P. Conrad' in honour of Joseph Conrad.
In 1894, at the age of thirty-six, Conrad decided to give up the sea and try to make a living as a writer.
At the age of twenty-eight, Conrad won his Master Mariner's certificate and was also naturalized as a British subject.
He tried to kill himself in 1878, probably after a failed love affair.
At the age of seventeen, Conrad applied unsuccessfully for citizenship of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As a Russian subject, he was liable for conscription into the Russian army, so to escape that his uncle agreed for him to go to France to train for a career at sea.
After he was orphaned at the age of eleven, Conrad was adopted by his mother's brother, Tadeusz Bobrowski, who was a lawyer in Krakow. He lived with his uncle for six years.
Conrad's mother died of tuberculosis in 1865, when he was only seven.
Conrad's father, Count Apollo Nalecz Korzeniowski, was a hard-up aristocrat, a writer of patriotic tragedies and also a translator and poet. After the Polish rebellion against the Russian Empire in 1863, Apollo was arrested in Warsaw and exiled to Siberia. He died of tuberculosis in 1869, when Conrad was eleven.
While serving in the British merchant navy, Conrad was often called 'Polish Joe'.
Although he belonged to a Polish family, Conrad was born in Eastern Podolia, a part of the Russian Empire which is now in the Ukraine.
Most of Joseph Conrad's work was written in English, which was his fourth language, after Polish, Russian and French.
Joseph Conrad: History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed away is never reproduced. It is as utterly gone out of the world as the song of a destroyed wild bird.
Joseph Conrad: It is respectable to have no illusions, and safe, and profitable and dull.
Joseph Conrad: Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.
Joseph Conrad: Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.
Joseph Conrad: Who knows what true loneliness is - not the conventional word but the naked terror?
Joseph Conrad: Give me the right word and the right accent, and I will move the world.
Joseph Conrad: The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement - but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims.
Joseph Conrad: They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. There must be a moral bond first. All a man can betray is his conscience.
Joseph Conrad: An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation.