The purpose of this series is to promote the study of writing in the English language through the introduction of the major figures writing in English throughout the ages. They provide an analytical and historical framework for understanding their subjects. In this critical introduction to the artist's work, Martin Seymour-Smith emphasises how the creative process worked itself out in the ever-reluctant Pole. In particular, he discusses the powerful influence of Conrad's closes friend - the only man who was allowed to write parts of his work - Ford Madox Ford. The author also provides a scathing commentary on many of the things Conrad himself satirised, such as social arrangements and contemporary criticism. He shows how Conrad always "seems contemporary, to be writing about now".