Hard Cover. London: T. Werner Laurie, Ltd., 1923. Limited. Near Fine.
Limited edition, one of 1,000 copies numbered signed by the author. Publisher's quarter white paper over gray-green paper covered boards, with white spine label lettered in brown, fore and bottom edges untrimmed; in the original gray-green dust jacket with paper spine label lettered in brown. A near fine copy with some toning to text block edges and very light rubbing to spine, otherwise tight and clean; in a very good dust jacket, toned to extremities and with some wear and tearing to spine ends and edges. The Secret Agent is a dramatic adaptation of Conrad's 1907 novel of the same name. The story is set in London in 1866 and features the spy Mr. Verloc, who is also a member of an anarchist group with terrorist inclinations. In a plot loosely inspired by the Greenwich Bombing of 1894 executed by French anarchist Martial Bourdin, Verloc finds his two positions overlapping when he is challenged by the government to destroy the Greenwich Observatory as a means to secure public support for the suppression of anarchy. Conrad's dramatic adaptation of The Secret Agent was first produced in London at the Ambassadors Theatre on November 2, 1922. Notably, this popular thriller served as the basis for Alfred Hitchcock's 1936 film Sabotage, which starred Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka. A precursor to modern spy fiction, The Secret Agent is a Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone.