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The Secret Agent By Joseph Conrad

The Secret Agent
by Joseph Conrad

An attack on the Greenwich Observatory in 1894 masterminded by Verloc, a Russian spy working for the police, and ostensibly a member of an anarchist group in Soho. His masters instruct him to discredit the anarchists in a humiliating fashion, and when his evil plan goes horribly awry, Verloc must deal with the repercussions of his actions.
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The Secret Agent Summary


The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

The Secret Agent is Joseph Conrad's dark satire on English society, edited with an introduction and notes by Michael Newton in Penguin Classics.

In the only novel Conrad set in London, The Secret Agent communicates a profoundly ironic view of human affairs. The story is woven around an attack on the Greenwich Observatory in 1894 masterminded by Verloc, a Russian spy working for the police, and ostensibly a member of an anarchist group in Soho. His masters instruct him to discredit the anarchists in a humiliating fashion, and when his evil plan goes horribly awry, Verloc must deal with the repercussions of his actions. While rooted in the Edwardian period, Conrad's tale remains strikingly contemporary, with its depiction of Londoners gripped by fear of the terrorists living in their midst.

This edition of The Secret Agent contains a chronology, further reading, notes and maps of London and Greenwich. In his introduction, Michael Newton discusses London's real-life world of political anarchy, and Conrad's portrayal of the Verlocs' marriage.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) was born in the Ukraine and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. After spending years in the French, and later the British Merchant Navy, Conrad left the sea to devote himself to writing. In 1896 he settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as Youth, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes.

If you enjoyed The Secret Agent, you might like Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Demons, also available in Penguin Classics.

'A brilliant book, one of the greatest works of modern irony'
Malcolm Bradbury

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The Secret Agent Reviews


"The Secret Agent is an astonishing book. It is one of the best--and certainly the most significant--detective stories ever written." --Ford Madox Ford

"The Secret Agent is an altogether thrilling 'crime story' . . . a political novel of a foreign embassy intrigue and its tragic human outcome." --Thomas Mann

"One of Conrad's supreme masterpieces." --F. R. Leavis

"[The Secret Agent] was in effect the world's first political thriller--spies, conspirators, wily policemen, murders, bombings . . . Conrad was also giving artistic expression to his domestic anxieties--his overweight wife and problem child, his lack of money, his inactivity, his discomfort in London, his uneasiness in English society, his sense of exile, of being an alien . . . The novel has the perverse logic and derangement of a dream."
--from the Introduction to the Everyman's Library edition by Paul Theroux

About Joseph Conrad


Joseph Conrad's major works (all published by Penguin Classics) include Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, Lord Jim,Under Western Eyes, The Secret Agent and Typhoon.

Additional information

GOR001240805
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Penguin Books Ltd
2007-08-02
320
0141441585
9780141441580
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.