Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, 3 December 1857 3 August 1924). An ethnic Pole (see UsefulNotes/{{Poland}}), but born within the dominions of what was then the Russian Empire (actually present-day UsefulNotes/{{Ukraine}}, but see also UsefulNotes/{{Russia}}) Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski lived an early life upset by considerable political turmoil. He eventually settled in England, finding work as a merchant sailor. He even became TheCaptain of his own ship. A polyglot, Conrad who spoke Polish and French from birth, eventually made the rare transition of writing solely in English, despite it being a "third language" at best. He became fluent only in his teenage years and for the rest of his life, he spoke English with a pronounced accent, anticipating the more radical transitions made by the likes of Creator/VladimirNabokov [[note]]He disagreed. "I differ from Joseph Conradically" noting that Conrad only ever wrote books in English, which was less of a transition than Nabokov who went from writing novels in Russian to novels in English, being accomplished in both languages[[/note]].

Conrad's youth as a merchant sailor on French and British vessels, provides [[WriteWhatYouKnow the background]] for most of his seafaring works. Most of his time at sea was working trade routes around Africa and India at the height of UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire, which informs most of his other works. In his lifetime, he was regarded as a great talent by the likes of Creator/HenryJames, Creator/RudyardKipling and he later influenced artists like Creator/GrahamGreene, Creator/TSEliot, Creator/OrsonWelles, Creator/ErnestHemingway and Creator/FScottFitzgerald.

Several of his books have been adapted to films. Most notable examples are ''Sabotage'' (1936) by Creator/AlfredHitchcock which adapts ''The Secret Agent'' [[note]]Not to be confused by the Hitchcock film ''Secret Agent'' which adapts W. Somerset Maugham's ''Ashenden''[[/note]], Carol Reed's adaptation of ''An Outcast on the Islands'' and Richard Brooks' adaptation of ''Film/LordJim''. The most famous one of course is ''Film/ApocalypseNow'' which adapts his 1899 novella ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness'' through SettingUpdate from the Belgian Congo to the Vietnam War. Likewise, Creator/DavidLean planned to adapt ''Nostromo'' for his last film but [[AuthorExistenceFailure he died before production began]]. In addition, Ripley's ship in ''Film/{{Alien}}'' is called "Nostromo" as a ShoutOut.

For reasons such as this, Conrad is perenially part of SchoolStudyMedia as well as a popular author to this day.

!!Works by Joseph Conrad with their own page include:
* ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness''
* ''Literature/LordJim''
* ''Literature/{{Nostromo}}''
* ''Literature/TheSecretAgent''

!!His other works include:
* ''Almayer's Folly''
* ''An Outcast of the Islands''
* ''Chance''
* "Gaspar Ruiz"
* ''Nostromo''
* ''Romance''
* ''The Arrow of Gold''
* "The Duel" (adapted into ''Film/TheDuellists'')
* ''The End of the Tether''
* ''The Inheritors''
* ''The Nigger Of The [='Narcissus'=]''
* "The Point Of Honor"
* ''The Rescue''
* ''The Shadow Line''
* ''[[{{Literature/Typhoon}} Typhoon]]''
* ''Under Western Eyes''
* ''Victory: An Island Tale''
* ''Within the Tides'' (short story collection)

!!Other works by Joseph Conrad contain examples of:
* AntiHero: Axel Heyst and Lena in ''Victory''.
* DownerEnding: If you ever find a happy ending in a Conrad story, it's like winning a lottery. Indeed his novel titled ''Victory'' [[spoiler:still ends with all the characters dead and the phrase invoked]] as an EsotericHappyEnding.
* FullCircleRevolution: The self-calling revolutionaries in ''Under Western Eyes'' are self-deluded, cynical and violent thugs no better than the order they hope to replace.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Many of his characters go nuts when they confront their illusions and failed hopes. It happens to all the terrorists in ''The Secret Agent'', as well as Razumov in ''Under Western Eyes''.
* HonorBeforeReason: ''Victory'' has Axel Heyst and Alma/Lena, both of whom fall in love when Heyst rescues Lena from a crime gang who were planning to pimp her to a disgusting hotel owner. They end up holed in a nearly uninhabited island and start a relationship that is sweet but becomes complicated because Axel is not able to fully give himself away to her because of his father's upbringing and personal hangups, and Lena who knows nothing but giving herself up for men. [[spoiler:In the end, Alma risks her life and dies, proving her love for Axel, who out of guilt commits suicide]].
* LoveMartyr: The theme of ''Victory'', [[spoiler:is Alma/Lena wanting to prove her love for Axel Heyst by becoming this. Her "victory" lies in achieving this moments before she dies]].
* TheMole: In ''Under Western Eyes'', [[spoiler:Razumov betrays terrorist Victor Haldin to the Tsarist police, who then send Razumov to infiltrate Haldin's friends in Geneva and uncover information about the armchair revolutionaries there. Razumov is conflicted about being a rat and finally reveals to the circle and Haldin's sister, who he fell in love with, that he is in fact a traitor. He then gets attacked by Necator, who, in a typically Conradian irony, [[FlockOfWolves turns out to be another mole himself]] for the Tsarist police. Indeed, the joke of the book, is that the traitor Razumov is paradoxically more honorable and conflicted than both the Empire and the Revolutionaries, neither of whom truly uphold their values]].
* SpyFiction: ''The Secret Agent'' and ''Under Western Eyes'' codify some of the tropes in modern spy stories and he indeed influenced the likes of Creator/GrahamGreene.
* VillainProtagonist: Adolf Verloc, the titular Secret Agent and terrorist.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: Averted. Conrad was deeply unsympathetic to revolutionaries, he sees self-calling freedom fighters who use violence as thrill-seekers who use ideology to justify taking innocent lives. His novels ''The Secret Agent'' and ''Under Western Eyes'' both depict terrorist attacks that condemn these actions in no uncertain terms as senseless and brutal.