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Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), one of the greatest English
novelists, was born in Poland and spent his boyhood in
Cracow. At seventeen he went to Marseilles and shipped
out on French vessels for a few years. In 1878 he entered
the British Merchant Marine, serving on a ship which sailed
the South Pacific. He became a British subject and a mas-
ter in the service in 1884, and for the next ten years he
travelled all over the world. In 1894 he finished his first
book, Almayer's Folly, and soon left the sea to devote him-
self to writing. Among his early works are Outcast of the
Islands (1896), The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897), Lord
Jim (1900), Youth (1902), and Typhoon (1903). The
writing of his later period includes The Secret Agent
(1907), Chance (1914), and VICTORY, which first ap-
peared in 1915.

Victory was originally published by Doubleday, Page &
Company in 1915. The Anchor Books edition is published
by arrangement with Doubleday & Company, Inc.

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
Printed in the United States of America


Perceval and Maisie Gibbon


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

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