The Inheritors: An Extravagant Story
Hard Cover. London: William Heinemann, 1901. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First English edition, first issue with no dedication leaf, in first binding with untrimmed top edge, publisher's advertisement at rear, and "W. H." windmill to spine. One of 1520 copies, only 1000 of which were in the first binding. Publisher's yellow cloth, front board and spine lettered and illustrated in black, publisher's monogram to rear board. Very good, with some toning to spine, light wear to spine ends with a couple of small closed tears to head of spine, a bit of light thumbsoiling to boards and spine, corners lightly bumped, light soiling to bottom edge of text block, mild offsetting to endpapers, contemporary signature to front free endpaper. Overall, a sturdy and unsophisticated example of a scarce collaboration between two great authors. Wise 9. The Inheritors is a science fiction story that centers around Arthur, a failing writer who falls for a beautiful and seductive woman from the Fourth Dimension. She and other Fourth Dimensionalists have come to "inherit the earth" and bring about a new, corrupt order. Arthur's weaknesses are exploited as the mysterious woman manipulates him to gain power. The book was the first of three collaborations between Conrad and Ford, followed by Romance (1903) and The Nature of a Crime (1909). It explores themes that Conrad and Ford would both frequently return to in their other works, such as isolation and corruption for Conrad, and turn-of-the-century anxieties for Ford. On the authors' collaboration for The Inheritors, Conrad wrote, "My share in this work is very small so far as actual writing goes. But it had been the cause of long and heated discussions, lasting well into many nights."