The Nature of a Crime
Hard Cover. London: Duckworth & Co., 1924. First Edition. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. Publisher's red boards, spine lettered in gilt; in its original brown dust jacket, front board margins decorated in red, lettered in black, with a diamond-shaped cut-out to spine. Near fine book, with some toning to diamond-shaped area on spine, top corners lightly bumped, light bump to fore-edges of boards, and tipped-in bookseller price to rear endpaper; very good unclipped dust jacket, with light toning and rubbing to spine, flap folds lightly worn with a chip to front flap fold, some small closed tears and light chipping to spine ends, light soiling to rear panel and inner front flap, corners lightly nicked, and a tiny chip to bottom of diamond-shaped cut-out on spine. An attractive, internally clean copy, in its scarce original dust jacket. The Nature of a Crime is composed of a series of love letters written by an unnamed narrator to a married woman. In the letters, the narrator - a lawyer - ruminates on his crime of gambling away the money entrusted to him by a close friend. The narrator's guilt about his relationship with the married woman and fears of going to prison for his crime lead him to contemplate committing suicide. Interestingly, it is believed that Conrad himself attempted suicide when he was in his twenties as a way of escaping overwhelming debt. The Nature of a Crime is the third and final collaborative text written by Conrad and Ford, preceded by The Inheritors (1901) and Romance (1903). First published in Ford's English Review in 1909, the story did not appear in book form until 1924. Conrad is famous for psychologically penetrative works like Heart of Darkness (1899), The Secret Agent (1907), Nostromo (1904), and Under Western Eyes (1911). Ford Madox Ford is the author of the classic works The Good Soldier (1915) and the Parade's End (1924-28) tetralogy.