The name under which the he wrote his many sea-faring novels was Joseph Conrad. He was born in the Ukraine in Russia on December 6, 1857. His boyhood was passed in Caracow in Poland. There he learned to speak and write French fluently and first began to take a great interest in the sea.
At the age of 17 he served for two years in French ships in the Mediterranean Sea and on South American coasts. Four years later he forsook his interest in France and instead turned to England and took passage to Lowestoft on the east coast of England. He landed there in 1878 and later qualified as an able seaman.
He served on a coasting vessel. He sailed as third mate to Sydney, Australia, on a sailing ship in 1880. Four years later, he became a master in the British merchant service and took British citizenship. Conrad left the sea in 1894 and after his marriage in 1896 settled in Kent.
He fell ill of Congo fever and, during his convalescence, started work on his first novel, entitled Almayer’s Folly. He worked on this book for nearly five years. He wrote many books about the sea, prominent among which are Victory, An Outcast of the Islands and Lord Jim, all of which have been filmed. Joseph Conrad died August 3, 1924.