“Featuring the texts of both Heart of Darkness and Conrad's autobiographical "Congo Diary" along with more than 200 annotations, this book enables readers to appreciate the connections between Conrad's writing and its historical context. Introductory essays explain Conrad's unique position as a chronicler of history, provide critical background information on how Europeans partitioned Africa and created the Congo Free State, and describe how the ivory and rubber trades brutalized the natives. Readers will learn how Conrad contributed to European awareness of the atrocities committed, and they will discover how the story's literary qualities form an essential part of its historical meaning. The numerous illustrations and maps depicting the historical Congo Free State provide a visual element to the story of Heart of Darkness a fictionalized tale that can be interpreted as history and that can help us interpret today's postcolonial, globalized world.”
From the publisher.