Joseph Conrad: Text and Context by Brian Spittles (auth.)

By Brian Spittles (auth.)

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Shortly after the first appearance of Heart of Darkness, in 1899, Conrad committed his commercial future to the hands of J. B. Pinker, a literary agent; and after that changed publishers - Blackwood, Heinemann, Dent, Methuen - according to conditions. Literary agents as a type were another phenomenon to emerge from the changes that took place in the 1880s and 1890s, and so were still a relatively new breed when Conrad began writing. Before the 1880s some writers had powerful personalities who negotiated on their behalf- George Eliot's partner, G.

177). Karl and Davies translate this as: 'I wrote accepting the terms .... I have taken what they offered me because, really, the mere fact of publication is of great importance' (CL, vol. 1, pp. 177-8). In fact Conrad was offered a form of royalty, although not on particularly advantageous terms. In any event he was in the trap Trollope had outlined to the young Hardy. Conrad described, again to Marguerite, his interview with his publisher: 'Il m'a dit franchement que si je voulais prendre une part dans le risque de la publication je pourrai participer au profits' (CL, vol.

I have taken what they offered me because, really, the mere fact of publication is of great importance' (CL, vol. 1, pp. 177-8). In fact Conrad was offered a form of royalty, although not on particularly advantageous terms. In any event he was in the trap Trollope had outlined to the young Hardy. Conrad described, again to Marguerite, his interview with his publisher: 'Il m'a dit franchement que si je voulais prendre une part dans le risque de la publication je pourrai participer au profits' (CL, vol.

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