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Joseph Conrad Collection

Sea Stories are among the most sweeping and dramatic of all, and few told them with as much majesty as Joseph Conrad.

Joseph Conrad

10 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 7 hours, 31 min)
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1 MP3 CD
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8 Audio CDs


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Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2021 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Scholars continue to debate whether the works of Joseph Conrad should be read as the product of a sailor who became a writer or as a writer who sailed. Most will agree that Conrad was one of the greatest English Novelists who grants us an eerily intimate perspective on the world from a time when the sun never set on the English Empire. Interestingly, the Greatest of English novelist was not a native English speaker, he was born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in Polish Ukraine, 1857.

Joseph ConradHis parents were part of the lower Polish nobility; his father, Apollo, was an intellectual and an activist against the oppression of Imperial Russia. Before Joseph was five, the family was exiled to a gulag north of Moscow where mother Ewa succumbed to tuberculosis. Apollo's sentence was eventually commuted, and he did his best to tutor his apparently gifted son, exposing the youngster to the works of Victor Hugo, Shakespeare, and Polish Romantic poetry. Joseph was ten when his father also succumbed to tuberculosis.

The youngster went to live with his mother's brother, Tadeusz Bobrowski, who found Conrad to be intellectually gifted but resistant to the formalities of school (geography was the only subject he excelled at). Bobrowski encouraged Conrad to pursue strenuous activities and hoped that learning a trade might center him. In the fall of 1874, sixteen-year-old Conrad went to Marseilles to seek a career at sea, but he was admonished by his patriotic uncle that; "wherever you may sail, you are sailing towards Poland!"

After four years of sailing on French merchant ships, Conrad crossed decks to sail under the Red Ensign of the British Merchant Fleet. He worked his way up through the ranks while making the transition from sail to steam, eventually achieving the rank of captain. These postings took Conrad to several locations in what would later be termed "developing nations" and gave him a first-hand perspective of human conditions under the British Imperium and European attitudes toward "natives".

After serving as First Officer aboard the clipper Torrens on the Adelaide-London route, Conrad reluctantly left his life at sea because of deteriorating health. Before disembarking Torrens in London on July 26, 1893, he struck up friendships with English writers Edward Lancelot Sanderson and John Galsworthy. These are thought to be Conrad's first English friendships outside the circle of the maritime fraternity, and they encouraged him to explore his talents as a teller of stories.

When Conrad began writing, his editor, Edward Garnet, worried that his lack of familiarity with English writing would preclude sales. However, this forced Conrad to see perfection in his language and idiom usage. To many readers, it is obvious that despite Conrad's technical mastery of the language, the text is being interpreted from thoughts in a foreign tongue. Rather than holding the material back, it lends an authenticity to the work which struck a chord in the late Victorian Age.

Conrad calls into question the implied superiority of Europeans over native peoples during the age of Empire, and his characters are often less than noble persons placed in responsible positions. A frequent device in his writings is the tradition of sacrifice and noble bravery on the part of seafarers being abandoned to allow a protagonist to save his own miserable hide. These notions would not lead to immediate reform during the Edwardian period but did allow Englishmen to question their place in the World as international politics began winding toward the yawning chasm of the Great War.

Conrad BoatAlthough his early adventure novels were highly successful, Conrad was a miserable manager of funds and he lived in a state of poverty. His writing became more politically relevant as the Great War approached. His highly personal novel, Chance (1914) was another financial success and with its publication Conrad's American agent was able to make arrangements that kept Conrad in financial security for the rest of his life. In 1923, he made a triumphant tour of North America, the following year he turned down a knighthood in Great Britain. On August 3, 1924, Joseph Conrad suffered a fatal heart attack at his home in Kent. He was interred at Canterbury Cemetery.

  • Lord Jim, NBC University Theatre, October 3, 1948. Originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine in October 1899. Jim is an honorable parson's son who decides to seek his fortune at sea. However, he signs as First Mate on a steamer captained by a less than honorable man who disregards the code of the sea by deserting his ship and his passengers at the first sign of trouble. The ship and its passengers arrive in port before Jim and the captain, and Jim spends the rest of his life trying to stay one step ahead of the shame.
  • The Brute, Escape, April 11, 1948. Originally published in a volume of six short stories in 1900, all of which the author claimed to have been based on real events, although The Brute was the only sea story in the collection. If men can sometimes be destructive and a little bit mad, why not a ship? The Brute was a curse to her crew from the day she slid down the ways at her launch. The ship's homicidal way resulted n the deaths of several crewmen over the years, but now there is a love story developing on her decks.
  • The Heart of Darkness, NBC University Theatre, May 15, 1949. An 1899 novella originally presented as a three-part serial in celebration of the 1000th issue of Blackwood's Magazine. The story draws upon Conrad's personal experience as a steamer captain on the Congo River supporting the ivory trade. The Company sends Captain Marlow to the Congo where he is told that he must walk 200 miles from the coastal station to the central station on the river where he discovers that the ship that he is to command is on the bottom of the river. He also hears of an Agent upriver named Kurtz, who sends in more ivory than the other agents combined. When he finally gets his steamboat repaired, Marlow spends two months sailing upriver to Kurtz's station. When he arrives, he discovers that Kurtz has fashioned himself into a sort of God to the natives. The station is surrounded by the skulls of Kurtz's victims. Harvesting the ivory seems to have driven Kurtz insane as he has truly discovered the Heart of Darkness and can never go back to civilization. This story is also adapted for This is My Best in this collection.
  • Victory, NBC University Theatre, February 16, 1950. Originally published in 1915. Axel Heyst grew up in privilege but has become a rootless wanderer who winds up on the South Sea Island of Surabaya in Dutch Java. Eventually, Heyst is brought out of himself by the plight of an English who is being forced to play with an all-girl band and is threatened with sexual violence at the hands of a hotel operator. In a desperate bid to protect the girl, Heyst absconds to an outer island where they are pursued by a gang of cutthroats determined to get their hands on Heyst's hidden fortune.
  • ConradThe Secret Sharer, CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, May 1, 1976. Originally published in two parts in the August and September 1909 editions of Harper's Magazine. The young captain assumes command of a four-masted-schooner in the South Seas and is unsure whether the crew who has been together for months will respect his authority. While the ship is anchored and the new Captain is alone on deck, a naked man swims to the side of the vessel. The stranger reveals that he was the mate on another ship and that he has killed a man. Rather than alert his crew of strangers, the captain decides to secretly aid the stranger.
  • The Warriors from Loanda, CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, March 25, 1977. Originally published as "An Outpost of Progress" in Cosmopolis Magazine, 1897. Another story drawing upon Conrad's experiences in the Congo. Kayerts and Carlier are assigned to a remote outpost in the jungle to conduct ivory trading. The white men serve mostly as figureheads, allowing their native bookkeeper to conduct most of the trading and conducting relations with the natives. They are appalled to learn that they bookkeeper is trading slaves for ivory but when they learn how profitable the begin to help. Ultimately, the isolation and boredom drive them to the brink.

See also: Great Authors and Escape: Tales of the Sea, and  Sea Stories Collection.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2021 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    10 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00. Total playtime 7 hours, 31 min
    10 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 7 hours, 31 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      10 shows - total playtime 7 hours 31 minutes
      1. CBSRMT 76-05-13 e0482 The Secret Sharer.mp3
      2. CBSRMT 77-03-28 e0624 The Warriors from Loanda.mp3
      3. Escape 470728 004 Typhoon.mp3
      4. Escape 480411 048 The Brute.mp3
      5. Nbc University Theater 481003 010 Lord Jim.mp3
      6. Nbc University Theater 490515 040 Heart Of Darkness.mp3
      7. Nbc University Theater 500219 076 Victory.mp3
      8. Theatre Royal 531018 03 The Tale.mp3
      9. Theatre Royal 540502 31 The Black Mate.mp3
      10. This Is My Best 450313 27 Heart Of Darkness.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    10 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00. Total playtime 7 hours, 31 min
    10 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 7 hours, 31 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      10 shows - total playtime 7 hours 31 minutes
      1. CBSRMT 76-05-13 e0482 The Secret Sharer.mp3
      2. CBSRMT 77-03-28 e0624 The Warriors from Loanda.mp3
      3. Escape 470728 004 Typhoon.mp3
      4. Escape 480411 048 The Brute.mp3
      5. Nbc University Theater 481003 010 Lord Jim.mp3
      6. Nbc University Theater 490515 040 Heart Of Darkness.mp3
      7. Nbc University Theater 500219 076 Victory.mp3
      8. Theatre Royal 531018 03 The Tale.mp3
      9. Theatre Royal 540502 31 The Black Mate.mp3
      10. This Is My Best 450313 27 Heart Of Darkness.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    10 recordings on 8 Audio CDs. Total playtime 7 hours, 31 min
    10 recordings on 8 Audio CDs
    total playtime 7 hours, 31 min

    Joseph Conrad Disc A001

    1. CBSRMT 76-05-13 e0482 The Secret Sharer

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joseph Conrad Disc A002

    1. CBSRMT 77-03-28 e0624 The Warriors from Loanda

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joseph Conrad Disc A003

    1. This Is My Best 450313 27 Heart Of Darkness
    2. Escape 470728 004 Typhoon

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joseph Conrad Disc A004

    1. Escape 480411 048 The Brute

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joseph Conrad Disc A005

    1. Nbc University Theater 481003 010 Lord Jim

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joseph Conrad Disc A006

    1. Nbc University Theater 490515 040 Heart Of Darkness

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joseph Conrad Disc A007

    1. Nbc University Theater 500219 076 Victory

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joseph Conrad Disc A008

    1. Theatre Royal 531018 03 The Tale
    2. Theatre Royal 540502 31 The Black Mate

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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