Friday, December 2, 2011

This Day in History December 3, 1857

I will admit that I have heard of the person I will write about today, but I am not (or was not) too familiar with him.  On this date in 1857, novelist Joseph Conrad was born.  I have never read anything by him, I do not believe.  I will only briefly detail his biography here.  For more information, you can always check out the links below the post.

Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) was born into a noble Polish family.  His father was a playwright and translator of plays who encouraged his son to read widely in Polish and French.  In 1861, his father was arrested by the Imperial Russian authorities and exiled to Vologda (300 miles north of Moscow).  He and his mother followed him into exile.  Due to poor health, the family was allowed to move, but both of his parents died of illnesses nonetheless by the time young Joseph was eleven.  He was placed in the care of his mother's uncle, and he began his life as a seaman at the age of 16.

In 1886, he became a British subject and officially changed his name to Joseph Conrad.  He continued his career of seaman until 1894 (he was 36). He was in poor health, which played a part in this decision, but he also had done some writing here and there.  He was so fascinated that he wanted to devote more time to it.

He basically spent the rest of his life in England writing novels and stories.  He only received critical acclaim right towards the end of his life.  In 1924, he turned down a knighthood offered to him by the English Prime Minister.  He died of a heart attack August 3, 1924.

His greatest works include Lord Jim (that is the one I used to own, but never read) and Nostromo.

For more information, check out these links:

By the way, I loved the fact that someone shared another event in history that happened yesterday.  I welcome all your comments.  If my information is correct, incorrect, boring, exciting, stirring, or if you would like to share another history event you know about, please do.  I was amazed to learn that two dictators came to power on the same exact day!


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