Introduction and Notes by Gene M. Moore, Universiteit van Amsterdam. Generally regarded as the pre-eminent work of Conrad’s shorter fiction, ‘Heart of Darkness’ is a chilling tale of horror which, as the author intended, is capable of many interpretations. Set in the Congo during the period of rapid colonial expansion in the 19th century, the story deals with the highly disturbing effects of economic, social and political exploitation of European and African societies and the cataclysmic behaviour this induced in some individuals. The other two stories in this book – ‘Youth’ and ‘The End of the Tether’ – concern the sea and those who sail upon it, a genre in which Conrad reigns supreme. AUTHOR: Born Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski in Poland in 1857, Conrad served in the British Merchant Service (1878-94), travelling to Africa, Australia, India, Indonesia and the Orient, becoming a British citizen in 1886. Turning to full-time writing in 1894, his years at sea featured heavily in his early works. His novels, such as ‘Lord Jim’, and his novella ‘Heart of Darkness’ (on which the film ‘Apocalypse Now’ was based) have brought him an enduring reputation.