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Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), one of the greatest English
Victory was originally published by Doubleday, Page &
Anchor Books edition: 1957
Cover and typography by Edward Gorey
Copyright, 1915, 1921, by Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1915 by Joseph Conrad
All Rights Reserved
NOTE TO THE FIRST EDITION
The last word of this novel was written on the 29th of May, 1914. And that last word was the single word of the title.
Those were the times of peace. Now that the moment of publication approaches I have been considering the discretion of altering the title-page. The word Victory, the shining and tragic goal of noble effort, appeared too great, too august, to stand at the head of a mere novel. There was also the possibility of falling under the suspicion of commercial astuteness deceiving the public into the belief that the book had something to do with war.
Of that, however, I was not afraid very much. What influenced my decision most were the obscure promptings of that pagan residuum of awe and wonder which lurks still at the bottom of our old humanity. Victory was the last word I had written in peace time. It was the last literary thought which had occurred to me before the doors of the Temple of Janus flying open with a crash shook the minds, the hearts, the consciences of men all over the world. Such coincidence could not be treated lightly. And I made up my mind to let the word stand, in the same hopeful spirit in which some simple citizen of Old Rome would have “accepted the Omen.”
The second point on which I wish to offer a remark is the existence in the novel) of a person named Schomberg.
That I believe him to be true goes without saying. I am