'Scholarly, ambitious and scrupulous'. This is how the TLS recently described the Oxford Reader's Companion Series. In September 2000, the book which pioneered the series, The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens came out in paperback. Now the Oxford Reader's Companions to Hardy, Trollope, Conrad, and George Eliot will follow on from that success. In this format these books are designed specifically to appeal to students of literature. Each contains a more comprehensive and accessible range of information than any other reference work on these writers. Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski had an astonishing life. 'Pole, Catholic, and bleman' is how he described himself as at the age of 5. He was born in the Ukraine of Polish parents and spent his childhood in exile. It was only after fifteen years at sea that he began writing in English, his third language and the one whose genius had, as he put it, 'adopted' him. Owen Kwles and Gene M. Moore, together with their team of distinguished Advisers and Contributors, have created a unique and authoritative reference work on all things Conradian. Over 400 entries cover Conrad's vels, stories, essays, and reviews; his friends, family, and associates; films and adaptations; ships and voyages; places associated with his life and works; his influences and sources; his reputation and critical approaches to his work; historical contexts to his life. Entries include: Conrad's life: health, Polish inheritance, the sea, ships and voyages People: Borys Conrad, Apollo and Ewa Korzeniowski, J. M. Barrie, Stephen Crane, Stefan Zeromski Places: America, Bangkok, Berdyczow, Congo, Cracow, Marseilles Novels: Almayer's Folly, Lord Jim, Nostromo Stories, essays, and reviews: 'An Anarchist', 'Typhoon', 'Autocracy and War', 'Legends', 'Tales of the Sea' Influences and Sources: James Brooke, Alighieri Dante, Charles Dickens, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emile Zola Characters: Almayer family, Mr Jones, Jim, Captain Mitchell, Nostromo, the Professor, Edith Travers Reputation: biographies, films, influences on other writers, portraits and other images, translations Historical context: First World War, Polish question, women's suffrage movement In addition to the A-Z entries the Companion offers extra material: a classified contents list with headwords grouped in thematic batches, Conrad's family tree, a useful chrology spanning Conrad's life, maps showing Conrad's travels, an index of references to Conrad's works, and an alphabetical list of frequently cited texts.