Youth: A Narrative, by Joseph Conrad, with notes by Ethel M. Sealey

By (author)Joseph Conrad


“Youth: A Narrative” is a short story by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1898. It is often regarded as a semi-autobiographical work that delves into themes of adventure, youthful optimism, and the harsh realities of life at sea, which were familiar to Conrad from his own experiences. The story is narrated by Charles Marlow, a character who appears in several of Conrad’s other works, most notably in “Heart of Darkness” and “Lord Jim.”

The narrative of “Youth” centers around Marlow recounting his first voyage to the East as a young man aboard the Judea, a ship destined for Bangkok. The journey is beset with misfortunes: from carrying a seemingly cursed cargo of coal to encountering disastrous weather conditions, the voyage epitomizes the challenges and unpredictability of life at sea. Despite these hardships, the story is imbued with a sense of excitement and invincibility that often accompanies youth. Marlow reflects on these experiences with a sense of nostalgia and longing for the days of his youth, marked by an unshakeable belief in the future and a readiness to face the unknown.

Conrad’s narrative style in “Youth” is notable for its vivid descriptions and profound reflections. The story, while straightforward in its recounting of a sea voyage, is layered with deeper meanings about the passage of time, the loss of youthful idealism, and the coming to terms with one’s place in the world. Conrad’s own experiences as a sailor lend authenticity to the narrative, making it a compelling and realistic portrayal of maritime adventure.

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Youth: A Narrative, by Joseph Conrad, with notes and study helps by Ethel M. Sealey, published by The Copp Clark co. in Toronto. Undated (presumed early 20th century). 61 pages.

Small hardcover volume bound in red cloth. Black lettering on cover and spine. Slight fading and wear to cover. Owner inscribed in pencil on inside front cover, stating “Elaine Arens, IV B”.
Occasional underlining in pencil present throughout. Volume is clean and well bound. Very good condition.

Weight .13 kg
Dimensions 18 × 12 × 2 cm



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Condition Very Good

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