Heart of Darkness – Ed. Peters
  • Publication Date: December 27, 2018
  • ISBN: 9781554813513 / 1554813514
  • 240 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Heart of Darkness – Ed. Peters

  • Publication Date: December 27, 2018
  • ISBN: 9781554813513 / 1554813514
  • 240 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Heart of Darkness is based upon Joseph Conrad’s own experience in the Congo; “it is,” as he remarks in his 1916 author’s note to Youth: A Narrative and Two Other Stories, “experience pushed a little (and only very little) beyond the actual facts.” Unlike many other editions, this new edition of Conrad’s most famous tale focuses on the time in which Conrad was himself in the Congo, while also exploring the differences between his reported experiences and their reshaping in fiction.

This edition includes an extensive selection of Conrad’s correspondence and autobiographical writing, as well as contemporary accounts of the Congo from other writers. Contemporary reviews situate Heart of Darkness in its literary contexts.


“John G. Peters is one of the most authoritative Conrad scholars in the world. This new, scrupulously edited version of Heart of Darkness, with all the invaluable ancillary material Peters includes, will be for the foreseeable future the definitive text of this novel.” — J. Hillis Miller, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, University of California Irvine

“As one would expect from John Peters, this is a solid, conscientious, and eminently useful work of textual editing, with the kind of supplementary apparatus one has come to rely on in Broadview editions (including footnotes, chronology, biographical and historical context, and bibliography, all usefully put together for an undergraduate readership). It is a welcome addition to the array of critical editions of Heart of Darkness now available for students.” — Christopher GoGwilt, Fordham University

“Peters’ selections do a fine job of situating the text within a series of historical and literary debates, and this is supported by the Introduction, which isolates significant elements or challenges of the text, exploring Conrad’s early life, the political situation in Europe and Africa in light of empire and colonialism, before treating literary and thematic features, such as language, narrative, and women. The text, which follows the first English book edition published by Blackwood’s in 1902 as part of Youth: A Narrative and Two Other Stories, and the accompanying documents are all judiciously annotated, and Peters acts as an authoritative guide to the multifaceted layers of Conrad’s novella and the complex contextual currents that swirl around it.” — Richard Niland, The Joseph Conrad Society UK

“Such careful marshalling of material is a hallmark of this edition, and there is a distinct sense of Peters pruning back the undergrowth to clear a path through the chronology. … This is an engaging edition of Heart of Darkness, where Peters expertly marshals historical background, critical debate and contextual resources into a cohesive whole.” — Patricia Pye, Joseph Conrad Today

“[This Broadview edition is] characterized by diligent editing and the provision of a wealth of critical and historical contextual material... Peters’s twenty-two page introduction is lucidly informative, providing biographical and critical material, and adjudicating well the various controversies about the novella. His judgment is generally thoughtful, balanced, and persuasive. ... [The editor is] to be congratulated on producing such [a] scrupulous, widely-ranging and enlightening volume.” — Cedric T. Watts, Conradiana

Joseph Conrad: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

Heart of Darkness

Appendix A: Maps

Appendix B: Correspondence from and to Conrad

  1. To Albert Thys (11 April 1890)
  2. To Marguerite Poradowska (15 May 1890)
  3. To Karol Zagórski (22 May 1890)
  4. To Marguerite Poradowska (26 September 1890)
  5. To T. Fisher Unwin (22 July 1896)
  6. To William Blackwood (31 December 1898)
  7. To Ford Madox Hueffer [Ford] (3 January 1899)
  8. To R.B. Cunninghame Graham (8 February 1899)
  9. From William Blackwood (10 March 1899)
  10. To William Blackwood (31 May 1902)
  11. To Roger Casement (17 December 1903)
  12. To Roger Casement (21 December 1903)
  13. To R.B. Cunninghame Graham (26 December 1903)
  14. To Ernest Dawson (25 June 1908)

Appendix C: Contemporary Reviews

  1. From Hugh Clifford, “The Art of Mr. Joseph Conrad,” Spectator (29 November 1902)
  2. From [Edward Garnett,] “Mr. Conrad’s New Book,” Academy and Literature (6 December 1902)
  3. “Youth; and Other Stories,” Graphic (3 January 1903)
  4. From “Joseph Conrad,” Literary World (16 January 1903)
  5. From Desmond B. O’Brien [Richard Ashe King], “Letters on Books,” Truth (22 January 1903)
  6. From “Books Worth Reading,” Times of India (14 February 1903)
  7. From “Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Things of Lesser Moment,” Evening Telegram (21 February 1903)
  8. From “New Novels,” The Australasian (28 February 1903)
  9. From “Novels of the Week,” Commercial Advertiser (7 March 1903)
  10. From Elia W. Peattie, “On Conrad’s Youth and Isham’s Under the Rose,” Chicago Daily Tribune (21 March 1903)
  11. From George Hamlin Fitch, “On the Bookshelves,” San Francisco Chronicle (12 April 1903)
  12. From Frederic Taber Cooper, “Literature, American and English,” International Year Book 1902 (1903)
  13. From [Virginia Woolf,] “Mr. Conrad’s Youth,” Times Literary Supplement(20 September 1917)

Appendix D: Autobiographical Writings by Conrad

  1. From Joseph Conrad, Congo Diary (1890)
  2. From Joseph Conrad, Some Reminiscences (1912)
  3. From Joseph Conrad, “The Romance of Travel” (1 February 1924)

Appendix E: Contemporary Accounts of the Congo

  1. George Washington Williams, An Open Letter to His Serene Majesty Leopold II, King of the Belgians and Sovereign of the Independent State of Congo (1890)
  2. From Life and Letters of Samuel Norvell Lapsley, Missionary to the Congo Valley, West Africa, 1866–1892 (1893)
  3. From W.P. Tisdel, “‘The Realm of the Congo’: My Trip to the Congo” (1890)
  4. From E.J. Glave, “The Slave-Trade in the Congo Basin” (1890)
  5. Léopold II, “Letter from the King of the Belgians” (1898)

Works Cited and Bibliography

John G. Peters is University Distinguished Research Professor at the University of North Texas and the editor of the Broadview Edition of Joseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes.