Conrad is noted for his complex narrative structures and formal experiments, especially in terms of point of view and temporal shifts. He is also much studied for his depiction of imperialism and colonialism, in the Malay Archipelago in

Almayer’s Folly


An Outcast of the Islands

(1896) and others, in the Belgian Congo in

Heart of Darkness

(1899), and in South America in


(1904). His political novels

The Secret Agent

(1907), which revolves around a plot to bomb Greenwich Observatory, and

Under Western Eyes

(1911), which focuses on spies and revolutionaries in Russia and Switzerland, are also much studied, as is the first long novel of his mature phase,

Lord Jim

(1900), a story of honour and the codes of the sea narrated by Conrad’s surrogate, Marlow. Conrad only became…

2628 words

Citation: Childs, Peter. "Joseph Conrad". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 April 2001; last revised 24 January 2018. [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

989 Joseph Conrad 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.