With Lord Jim, first published in 1900, Joseph Conrad transformed a tale of seafaring adventure into a subtle study of the meaning of honor and courage, loyalty and betrayal. When Jim, an idealistic merchant seaman and ship’s officer, abandons the supposedly sinking Patna and its passengers, he dashes his youthful dreams of glory in a single stroke. Condemned in court for his impetuous act of cowardice, Jim relegates himself to a life roaming the Far East.
Unforgettably told by Marlow, who also narrates Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the story of Lord Jim plumbs the mysteries of a man renounced by society but driven by a desire for redemption.
A. Michael Matin is a professor in the English Department of Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. He has published articles on various twentieth-century British and postcolonial writers, and has written the introduction and notes for the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction by Joseph Conrad.