Joseph Conrad at Stanford le Hope


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), the celebrated author, was born Josef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in the Ukraine of Polish parents. After an adventurous life in the French Merchant Marine and eventually as a Captain in the British Merchant Marine he was naturalised as a British subject in 1884.

Joseph Conrad and his wife Jessie moved into a small semi-detached villa in Victoria Road, Stanford le Hope in 1896 and later to a medieval lath and plaster farmhouse named 'Ivy Walls' in Billet Lane where Conrad could work in improved space and solitude.

At Stanford le Hope Conrad completed 'The Nigger of the Narcissus' ('Children of the Sea' in USA) and wrote 'Karain', 'The Return', and 'Youth' and began 'Lord Jim' and 'Heart of Darkness'. His son Borys was born at Ivy Walls in January 1898 and in October of that year the family moved to Standford in Kent.

He has a connection to another Thurrock resident - Alfred Russel Wallace. Conrad had a much used copy of Wallace's  The Malay Archipelago and drew on it for his own works including Lord Jim.

There is an article on Conrad in Panorama 23 and there is a Thurrock Heritage commemorative plaque to Conrad.

Photo of  Conrad by George Charles Beresford 
from Wikipedia