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Record 25061

Reading Experience:

'They have arrived--the 6 of them; I have felt them all in turn and all at one time as it were, and to celebrate the event I have given myself a holiday for the morning,not to read any of them --I could not settle to that, but to commune with them all, and gloat over the promise of the prefaces. But of these last I have read one already, the preface to "The American",the first of your long novels I ever read--in '91.[...] I could not resist the temptation of reading the beautiful and touching last ten pages of the story. There is in them a perfection of tone which calmed me; and I sat for a long time with the closed volume in my hand going over the preface in my mind and thinking--that's how it began,that's how it was done!'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: Between 11 Dec 1908 and 12 Dec 1908
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: Luton Hoo Estate
county: Bedfordshire
specific address: Someries
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Joseph Conrad
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 3 Dec 1857
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Master mariner and author
Religion: originally Polish Catholic, by now agnostic/atheist
Country of origin: Poland
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Henry James
Title: The American
Genre: Fiction,
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: probably new de luxe editions appearing in 1908
Provenance: owned
gift from author


Source Information:

Record ID: 25061  
Source - Print  
  Author: Joseph Conrad
  Editor: Karl Frederick R. and Laurence Davies
  Title: The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad Volume 4 1908-1911
  Place of Publication: Cambridge
  Date of Publication: 1990
  Vol: 4
  Page: 161-162
  Additional comments: Letter from Joseph Conrad to Henry James dated 12 December 1908, Someries.

Citation: Joseph Conrad, Karl Frederick R. and Laurence Davies (ed.), The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad Volume 4 1908-1911 (Cambridge, 1990), 4, p. 161-162,, accessed: 01 June 2023

Additional comments:

See also record 25060. See fn. 4 P; 161 of source text describing the gift by James of new editions of 'Roderick Hudson', 'The American', 'Portrait of a Lady' (2 vols), and 'The Princess Casamassima' (2 vols).



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)