Reference > The Library > Helen Rex Keller > Reader’s Digest of Books

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
Lord Jim
Joseph Conrad (1857–1924)
Lord Jim, a romance by Joseph Conrad (1915). A promising young Englishman, son of a clergyman, becomes chief mate of the “Patua” before he has been tested by experience of the hardships of life at sea. He dreams of heroic deeds, but when the real crisis comes, panic seizes him, and he deserts the sinking ship with the other officers, leaving the eight hundred sleeping pilgrim passengers to their fate. The ship, by some miracle, keeps afloat, and is towed into Suez by a French man-of-war, and its officers are disgraced. The issue of Jim’s honor is for him beyond the decision of any court of inquiry. Another chance must come to let him prove himself the hero of his romantic imagination. He tries to make a fresh start, but the wretched story follows him everywhere. Finally he accepts the position of trader in a remote Malay village, where as adviser, practically chief, he is loved, trusted, and admired by a savage tribe. By courage and self-sacrifice, he feels he has mastered his fate, and atoned for his moment of cowardice. Unfortunately his people endow him with supernatural power. He allows a band of pirates to go free after an attack on the village. They abuse his safe conduct, and kill the young son of Chief Dorian, his own closest friend. Instantly his prestige is gone. He is regarded as a devil who has brought about this dire misfortune. He refuses to fight for his life, leaves the girl he loves, and gives himself up to be shot by the aged Dorian. Descriptions of the calm moonlight night on the tropic sea in the “Patua” are quoted in the LIBRARY from the second and third chapters.  1

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