Joseph Conrad’s favored destination was Asia, the bustling transit port of Singapore, the remote islands and ports of the Dutch East Indies. It was from Singapore that he made four voyages as first mate on the steamship Vidar to a small trading post which was forty miles up a river on the east coast of Borneo. A river and a settlement which he described as “One of the last, forgotten, unknown places on earth”. His Borneo books—Almayer’s Folly, An Outcast of the Islands, The Rescue and the latter part of Lord Jim—were all based on the places he visited, the stories he heard, and the people he met during these voyages.
Eastern Voyages follows Joseph Conrad’s life at sea, his time in Asia, and how he came to write his first books. It should be noted that the narrative sequence of these first books is in the reverse order in which they were written. In the latter part of this book the author places the parts of these novels in their proper narrative sequence and focuses on the back story of his characters, so readers can discover or rediscover Conrad’s genius.