Academic journal article The Conradian : the Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (U.K.)

Four New Conrad Items in the Late Stanley J. Seeger Sale of Conradiana

Academic journal article The Conradian : the Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (U.K.)

Four New Conrad Items in the Late Stanley J. Seeger Sale of Conradiana

Article excerpt

BILLED AS "the greatest single author collection pertaining to a modern writer to come to auction within living memory" by Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts Senior Specialist Peter Selley (Brown 2013), the sale of the late Stanley J. Seeger's Joseph Conrad Collection lived up to its promise.

On 10 July 2013 and 15 July 2014, Sotheby's of London auctioned as many as 389 lots for a sum total of ?1,203,059 (?788,330 in 2013 and ?414,729 a year later). Among them were the manuscripts of Typhoon (unsold) and of The Sisters (?60,000), the corrected typescript of "Falk" (?32,500), the corrected page proofs of Nostromo (?52,500), and a profusion of first and later editions as well as letters and other memorabilia, such as Sylvia Plath's and Robert Penn Warren's annotated copies of, respectively, Lord Jim (?12,500) and Nostromo (unsold).1 There is little doubt that this auction will be remembered as the twenty-first century's equivalent of American lawyer and collector John Quinn's sensational sale of his 230 lots of Conradiana in 1923 in New York (Anderson Galleries, 1924).

The object of the present note is to describe four Conrad texts that were absent from the original version (2002) of the Descriptive Location Register of Joseph Conrad's Literary Manuscripts, compiled by Gene M. Moore and kept updated and corrected on the website of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK), where it can be accessed on the "Scholarly Resources" page.2

Of the four items listed below, only one (item 275), was sold; its present owner is unknown.

THE END OF THE TETHER

Lot 237: Autograph manuscript leaf (1902)

This document is part of a batch of 13 handwritten leaves, from part "II" of the manuscript and numbered 18-30, that went missing after 1971 and survived only in photocopies (Youth, Heart of Darkness, The End of the Tether, 286; Sotheby's, II, 2014: 45).

Page 24 of that batch appeared at a sale held by Bonham's of London on 18 June 2014 (item 181) (Moore, item 58a). The present leaf, numbered "28," is titled "E. of T." in its top left-hand corner and features, in its top centre, like the batch's other leaves, the roman numeral "II." It is inscribed on its recto only, in what appears to be black ink; it measures 260 x 202 mm and the paper is watermarked "ENGLISH Made Bank | Rock Bros Ltd. …

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