Joseph Conrad: The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale

(1675 words)

The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale (1907) is a story of anarchists in late nineteenth-century London. Set in the 1880s when most political activists in England were refugees keen to maintain the authorities’ tolerance, Conrad’s novel concerns the attempt of other European powers to provoke an outrage that will change the British government’s permissive attitude. With little reason to worry over assassination attempts and terrorist activity, late Victorian society went without immigration controls until the turn of the century. The plot centres on an attempt to bomb the London Observatory in Greenwich, inspired by a real incident of 1894. The chosen site is of great significance, in terms of science, empire and fame. In 1…

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Childs, Peter. "The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]