Joseph Conrad The Black Mate

ISBN 13: 9781515135364

The Black Mate

9781515135364: The Black Mate
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A number of sea captains meet at a restaurant in the Port of London. They tease Captain Johns, who thinks that only young seamen should be on ships. Then they discuss ghosts and comment on Bunter, the mate of the Sapphire who once lost a ship in the Indian Ocean and who has strikingly black hair. Bunter complains to the narrator that Captain Johns has been treating him suspiciously, and has been trying to persuade him to share his belief in ghosts and spiritualism. He has also been oppressed by a berthing master who recognises him from somewhere. It seems that Bunter has some sort of secret, as well as the bad luck that has dogged him ever since the loss of his ship. He has been a captain, but is now forced to accept the position of mate. The Sapphire sets off bound for Calcutta, and encounters rough seas in the Southern Ocean, which results in breakages of some of Bunter’s personal belongings. Captain Johns continues to harass Bunter with his belief in spiritualism and he regards any signs of scepticism as a personal insult. Then one night Bunter suddenly falls down a ladder and injures his head. There is a general mystery regarding the reason for this accident. When he recovers he tells Captain Johns that he was startled by an apparition and fell backwards in terror. Bunter continues to be ill, and he is converted to a belief in spiritualism. Then he reveals that the fright has turned his hair white. Meanwhile, back in London Mrs Bunter inherits money from a distant relative but cannot pass the good news on to her husband because the Sapphire is en route back from Calcutta. She goes to meet the ship at Dunkirk, along with the narrator. In Dunkirk, Bunter reveals to the narrator that he merely slipped on some brass plates at the top of the ladder, and his hair turned white because he ran out of the hair dye he had been using to make himself look younger. The ghostly apparition was an invention to placate Captain Johns. Bunter leaves the Sapphire and goes off with his wife.

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About the Author:

Polish author Joseph Conrad is considered to be one of the greatest English-language novelists, a remarkable achievement considering English was not his first language. Conrad s literary works often featured a nautical setting, reflecting the influences of his early career in the Merchant Navy, and his depictions of the struggles of the human spirit in a cold, indifferent world are best exemplified in such seminal works as Heart of Darkness, Lord JimM, The Secret Agent, Nostromo, and Typhoon. Regarded as a forerunner of modernist literature, Conrad s writing style and characters have influenced such distinguished writers as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, and George Orwell, among many others. Many of Conrad s novels have been adapted for film, most notably Heart of Darkness, which served as the inspiration and foundation for Francis Ford Coppola s 1979 film Apocalypse Now.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781482017328: The Black Mate

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ISBN 10:  1482017326 ISBN 13:  9781482017328
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub, 2013

9781530491230: The Black Mate

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