Heart of Darkness – Second Edition
  • Publication Date: August 16, 1999
  • ISBN: 9781551113074 / 1551113074
  • 258 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Heart of Darkness – Second Edition

  • Publication Date: August 16, 1999
  • ISBN: 9781551113074 / 1551113074
  • 258 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The story of Marlow travelling upriver in central Africa to find Kurtz, an ivory agent as consumed by the horror of human life as he is by physical illness, has long been considered a classic, and continues to be widely read and studied.

This edition, edited by one of the leading figures in ‘the Conrad controversy,’ includes an introduction and explanatory notes, as well as a fascinating variety of contemporary documents that help to set this extraordinary work in the context of the period from which it emerged. The introduction and bibliography have been updated, and two new appendices have been added; the second of these is a selection of Alice Harris’s extraordinary but little-known photographs documenting the horrors of colonialism in turn-of-the-century Congo.

A companion website (Heart of Darkness: Online Theory and Criticism) offering a selection of key scholarly essays on the novel, background information on literary theory, and other helpful student resources, can be purchased separately by clicking here.


“Goonetilleke’s edition does much to restore the context [in which Conrad was writing] and begins with a helpful summary of Congo history. The edition contains excerpts from some of the best writers in English on conditions in the Congo Free State.” — The Times Literary Supplement

“This edition offers a bold and intelligent introduction to the book’s aesthetic and philosophical challenges, gives an excitingly useful chronology of the Congo with excerpts from Congo exploration literature, and deftly anticipates issues that discussion of the text will raise.” — David Leon Higdon, Conradiana

“Evenhanded … it connects Conrad palpably to the European colonization of the continent.” — Harper’s Magazine

“[This edition is] far better than anything else on the market today.” — Craig Keating, Langara College

Select Bibliography
Joseph Conrad: A Brief Chronology
A Congo Chronology
A Note on the Text
Author’s Note (Preface to the 1923 edition of Youth: A Narrative and Two Other Stories)

Heart of Darkness

Appendix A: Comments by Conrad

  1. Conrad, from “Geography and Some Explorers”
  2. From Conrad’s Congo Diary
  3. Letter to Madame Poradowska
  4. Conversations with Conrad as recollected by Edward Garnett
  5. Letter to William Blackwood, (31 December 1898)
  6. Letter to R.B. Cunninghame Graham, (8 February 1899)
  7. Letter to William Blackwood, (31 May 1902)
  8. Letter to Elsie Hueffer, (3 December 1902)
  9. Letter to Edward Garnett, (22 December 1902)

Appendix B: Contemporary Reviews of Heart of Darkness

  1. Edward Garnett, Unsigned review from Academy and Literature, (6 December 1902)
  2. Hugh Clifford, “The Art of Mr. Joseph Conrad” from The Spectator, (29 November 1902)
  3. Unsigned review, “Mr. Conrad’s New Book” from Manchester Guardian, (10 December 1902)
  4. Unsigned review, “Youth” from The Times Literary Supplement, (12 December 1902)
  5. Unsigned review, from Athenaeum, (20 December 1902)
  6. Unsigned review, “Some Stories by Joseph Conrad” from New York Times Saturday Review of Books and Art, (4 April 1903)
  7. Unsigned review, from The Monthly Review, (7 April 1903)

Appendix C: Historical Documents

  1. Henry M. Stanley Finding Livingstone
  2. Excerpts from Stanley’s Diaries: The Second Central African Expedition, 1874-1877
  3. Excerpts from the Diaries of William G. Stairs: The “Emin Pasha” Congo Expedition with Stanley
  4. Stanley on the Congo
  5. Stanley on his Career
  6. Advertising Announcement
  7. Henry Morton Stanley, speech on being given the freedom of the city of Swansea
  8. Stanley, speech at a dinner given in his honour by the Lotos Club in New York on 27 November 1886
  9. Cecil Rhodes, from speech on 18 July 1899 at Cape Town
  10. Joseph Chamberlain, from speech on 11 November 1895
  11. W.M. Thackeray on the Race Question
  12. D. Crawford, F.R.G.S. (Konga Vantu)
  13. From Benjamin Kidd
  14. From Roger Casement’s Congo Report
  15. E.D. Morel on Belgian Colonialism in the Congo
  16. Mark Twain on King Leopold
  17. Letter from George Gissing to his brother Algernon, (23 January 1885)
  18. Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745-97): Benin in Pre-Colonial Times
  19. Commander R.H. Bacon, Intelligence Officer to the Benin Expedition
  20. Captain Alan Boisragon, One of the Two Survivors, Commandant of the Niger Coast Protectorate Force

Appendix D: Major Textual Changes

Appendix E: Illustrations

Appendix F: The Photographs of Alice Harris

Appendix G: Map of the Congo

D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke is a professor of English at the University of Kelanyia, Sri Lanka, and a former Chair of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies. His other books include Joseph Conrad: Beyond Culture and Background (St. Martin’s Press, 1991), and Salman Rushdie (St. Martin’s Press, 1998).