Almayer's Folly: A Story of an Eastern River by Joseph Conrad
Set in a jungle village in eastern Borneo during the 1880s, Almayer's Folly recreates the many conflicts - economic, religious, racial, cultural, sexual - of imperial Europe with the colonized East Indies through Joseph Conrad's story of Kaspar Almayer's personal tragedy: his loss of both his daughter of mixed race to her native lover and his dream of finding enough gold to return to Amsterdam in triumph. The introduction gives the history of the composition of Conrad's first book, which was started in London in the autumn of 1889 and completed four and a half years later; the manuscript went with him to the Congo, Australia, the Ukraine, Belgium, Switzerland and France on his travels as a seaman and on holiday. During this long gestation, some of the chapters were typed twice, and later Conrad's slightly foreign English was tidied several times by publishers. The novel has suffered seven layers of unauthorized intervention, as set out in the essay on the text and the apparatus. The notes explain Malay terms and historical references, and there are two regional maps. This is the text of Almayer's Folly, established through modern textual scholarship, as Conrad would have liked it to have appeared in 1895.