I'm a fan of the Ridley Scott film The Duellists (1977) which is based on the story "The Duel" by Joseph Conrad. I would like to read the original story, but whenever I search for paperback collections of Conrad's stories in used book stores they never include "The Duel". Sure, I could read the the story on Project Gutenberg, but what I'm looking for is something like a Penguin books edition that includes a scholarly introduction. Does this exist?

  • 1
    Searching “the duel joseph conrad” on amazon turns up a bunch of results.
    – Alex
    Nov 4, 2019 at 15:23
  • I've seen the editions on Amazon. They all look like cheap print-on-demand versions or eBooks. What I am trying to find is a high quality Penguin books style edition that includes scholarly notes.
    – Scribbler
    Jan 31, 2020 at 23:46
  • Does it need to be in a collection or would a (scholarly) edition of the story on its own also count?
    – Tsundoku
    Jul 24, 2020 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


Recent is rather vague. "The Duel" was included in Volume IV of The Complete Short Fiction of Joseph Conrad, edited with an introduction by Samuel Hynes (New York: Ecco Press, 1992/1993). This volume also contained "Falk: A Reminiscence", "A Smile of Fortune", "Freya of the Seven Isles: A Story of Shallow Waters", "The Planter of Malata" and author's notes. This was the last volume of a four-volume set. In 1999 Ecco Press was acquired by HarperCollins, who no longer sell this set of books.

Other collections that contain "The Duel" are print-on demand volumes by publishers who want to gain easy money by publishing texts that have entered the public domain (or what I call "public-domain sharks").

For a scholarly edition of the story, see Conrad’s “The Duel”: Sources / Text, edited by J.H. Stape and John G. Peters (Rodopi/Brill, 2015). Below is an excerpt of the description provided by the publisher:

Since the publication of Joseph Conrad’s “Author’s Note” (1920) to A Set of Six (1908), readers have been aware that the plot for the Napolonic [sic!] tale “The Duel” derived from an existing account. What has been unknown till now is the large number of venues in which that account variously appeared. This volume traces the tale’s fascinating genealogy and the immediate contemporary source that inspired Conrad’s 1907 story. A transcription of the story’s typescript-manuscript sheds light on the story’s development.


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