'no consideration, no delicacy, no tenderness, no scruples should
stand in the way of a woman ... from taking the shortest cut
towards securing for herself the easiest possible existence'
Chance(1914) was the first of Conrad's novels to bring him popular
success and it holds a unique place among his works. It tells the
story of Flora de Barral, a vulnerable and abandoned young girl who
is 'like a beggar,without a right to anything but compassion'.
After her bankrupt father is imprisoned, she learns the harsh fact
that a woman in her position 'has no resources but in herself. Her
only means of action is to be what she is.' Flora's long struggle
to achieve some dignity and happiness makes her Conrad's most
moving female character. Reflecting the contemporary interest in
the New Woman and the Suffragette question, Chance also marks the
final appearance of Marlow, Conrad's most effective and wise
narrator. This revised edition uses the English first edition text
and has a new chronology and bibliography.