An Outcast of the Islands (1896), Conrad's second novel, returns to the Malay world of Almayer's Folly (1895). Focusing on the collapse of Western values and morals in a colonial setting, the novel daringly portrays the power of erotic attraction and exposes the venal ambitions behind small- and large-scale political intrigues. The introduction situates the novel in Conrad's career as a writer and traces its origins and reception. The essay on the text and the apparatus explain the history of the work's composition and publication, and detail the interventions of Conrad's compositors and editors. There are notes explaining literary and historical references, a glossary of nautical terms, illustrations including pictures of early drafts, and appendixes. This edition presents the novel and its preface in forms more authoritative than any so far printed, and restores a text that has circulated in defective forms since its original publication.
Allan H. Simmons is Professor of English Literature at St Mary's University, Twickenham, and is the author of Joseph Conrad (2006) and Conrad's Heart of Darkness (2007). He has edited Conrad in Context (2009) and Joseph Conrad: The Contemporary Reviews, Volume 1 (2012), and co-edited Lord Jim and The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' and Other Stories (2007). He is also the General Editor of The Conradian: The Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK).