Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) was born in Poland, moving to live in France in l874. He later joined the British merchant navy, and did not begin writing novels until he was nearly forty. He became a British citizen in 1886.
Despite critical recognition, Conrad’s novels did not sell well, and he lived in relative poverty until the commercial success of Chance (1914) secured him a wider public. He is now seen however as a writer who revolutionized the English novel, and arguably the most important single innovator of the twentieth century.