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  • "The times indeed are changed"Conrad, "Typhoon," and Pall Mall Magazine
  • Linda Dryden (bio)

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Figure 1.

Pall Mall Magazine, January 1908. Cover.

[End Page 132]

At midnight on 10 January 1901 Joseph Conrad put down his pen, having finished "Typhoon."1 The manuscript was sent to his literary agent, James Pinker, the following day. A new phase in his literary career was beginning for Conrad; although he was unaware of it, the manuscript that went to Pinker was to mark the beginning of the end of Conrad's relationship with Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, where he had been publishing his work since "Karain" in 1897. After William Blackwood rejected "Typhoon," Pinker successfully negotiated for the story to appear in Pall Mall Magazine2 (see figure 1). "Typhoon" thus marks a turning point in Conrad's career and in his relations with his publishers. Pall Mall was notable for another landmark for Conrad: the magazine, unlike Blackwood's, was an illustrated monthly. The artist chosen to illustrate "Typhoon" was Maurice Greiffenhagen. This was the second time that a Conrad tale had been illustrated, and Pall Mall was fortunate in its choice of artist.3 Conrad was impressed: Greiffenhagen was an illustrator for H. Rider Haggard's work and an accomplished artist who contributed illustrations to the Daily Chronicle, the Lady's Pictorial, and Punch.4

The textual differences between the near-simultaneous serialization of "Typhoon" in Pall Mall Magazine (January–March 1902) and the New York Critic (February–May 1902) have been examined in detail by Dwight Purdy, who notes four different kinds of "discrepancies": "structural changes"; "substitutions in words and phrases"; "amplification, where parallel passages in one or the other text are considerably fuller"; and "revisions that effect characterization" (99).5 Purdy's concerns are [End Page 133] mainly textual, whereas this paper gives an overview of Pall Mall Magazine at the time of the publication of "Typhoon," outlining the context within which Conrad's story appeared. Conrad's shift from Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine to Pall Mall marked a transitional phase in his publishing history, and this paper addresses Conrad's negotiations with Pinker and his apparent misgivings about publishing in a more popular magazine, as expressed in his letters. Finally, a detailed discussion of some of Greiffenhagen's drawings for the Pall Mall serialization of "Typhoon" seeks to account for Conrad's enthusiasm for this particular artist.

Pall Mall Magazine

Between 1902 and 1913 Conrad had nine publications with Pall Mall. Four of these, "Landfalls and Departures" (January 1905), "Emblems of Hope" (February 1905), "The Fine Art" (April 1905), and "Rulers of East and West" (May–June 1905), were ultimately to form seventeen of the forty-nine sections of his memoir The Mirror of the Sea (1906). Five stories also appeared in Pall Mall: "Typhoon," "Tomorrow" (August 1902), "Gaspar Ruiz" (July–October 1906), "The Duel," (January–May 1908), and "The Inn of the Two Witches" (March 1913). By 1902 Conrad was having disagreements with Blackwood's, and his new agent was already seeking alternative publishers. With Pall Mall Conrad would get exposure to a wider domestic audience and would still be writing alongside some of the most prominent literary figures of the day.

Pall Mall Magazine was founded by the multimillionaire William Waldorf Astor, whose great-grandfather was John Jacob Astor (Rutenberg 306). John Jacob had become the richest man in America, bequeathing to his family over $20 million (Rutenberg 306). His great-grandson William used his huge inheritance to invest in the arts through various publishing ventures (Rutenberg 306). Ultimately he became associated with two of the most prominent names in twentieth-century journalism history: William Randolph Hearst and Alfred Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe (Rutenberg 306). From 1882 to 1885 William Astor served as the U.S. minister to Italy (Rutenberg 306). He eventually moved to Britain in 1893, where he acquired the Pall Mall Gazette and promptly founded the Pall Mall Magazine in an effort to rival the Strand Magazine by attracting a middle- and upper-class readership (Rutenberg 306).6 Initially published by Routledge, the magazine was based in London with offices in the Astor Court Building in New...


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