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Joseph Conrad: The Arrow of Gold

This story has as its setting smuggling and gun-running to aid the Carlist forces in Spain. The activities take place in Marseilles. The novel has as its romantic heroine, Rita, a former goat-girl who has been transformed by the wealthy painter, Allègre, into a cosmopolitan woman of charm and beauty. The story is told by Monsieur George, a Conrad alter ego. George’s main rival is Captain John Blunt, an older man from South Carolina, who, in his own words, lives by the sword and who has clearly participated in the Civil War. The action moves inevitably to a showdown between George and Blunt, who fight a duel over Rita. It’s all good, romantic fun but it certainly does not make for great literature.

Publishing history

First published in 1919 by T. F. Unwin, Ltd