In 1857, Joseph Conrad was born Joseph Korzeniowski to his father, Apollo Korzeniowski and his mother, Eva Bobrowska. His father was a translator of French and English literature and he even wrote his own poetry, plays and stories which greatly influenced young Joseph. In 1861, Apollo and his family were exiled due to speculations of his involvement in revolutionary activities. While in exile, the family's health diminished and in 1865 Eva died of tuberculosis. Four years later, Apollo fell to tuberculosis also. Joseph was left as an orphan up until he went to live with his uncle who quickly replaced his father.
Joseph desperately wanted a new life, so in 1874 he left Poland to join the French merchant marines. Later on, Joseph joined a British merchant ship where he became a master mariner and a British citizen. Conrad's life on the sea gave him a broader view of the world and the people in it. It also gave him a good deal of information which he could use in his writings. In 1890, Conrad sailed up the Congo River where he saw the horrors of people and civilization.
Conrad saw how blacks were treated and how everyone was afraid of him due to his white color. He also saw the addiction that most people had to material possessions. Although his trip to Africa sickened him in more ways than one, it gave him a horrid look at reality and people which formed the basis of one of his most popular novels, Heart of Darkness. In 1894, Joseph decided to retire from his life on the sea and pursue his literary career in England. He settled in England mainly due to England's respect for individuals and the fact that he knew that the government would not try to censor his writings.
In 1896, Conrad married an Englishwoman by the name of Jessie George and the couple had two sons. The family moved around a bit but in 1923 they ended up in the United States where they decided to stay. In 1924, Conrad died of a heart attack. Conrad was a highly acclaimed author not only to the people, but also to other authors. Many famous authors respected and admired Conrad for his literary skills. During his time, he was a very influential author.