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Chance

New York Herald, Ferndale

flora marlow anthony captain

a novel by Joseph Conrad, published in 1913, serialized in the New York Herald, 1912. It was Conrad's first novel to achieve popular success and marked the return of Marlow as narrator. It is divided into two parts, ‘The Damsel’ and ‘The Knight’. Part I recounts the early life of Flora de Barral, the traumatic incident in which Flora's sense of her own worth is destroyed by her governess, and shows how Flora's insecurity is reinforced by subsequent events. Marlow investigates the disappearance of Mrs Fyne's brother, Captain Anthony, which is solved by Flora's account of her relations with him. Part II recounts the complex relations of Captain Anthony, Flora, and her father on board the ‘Ferndale’, the ‘psychological cabin mystery of discomfort’. Flora is one of the ‘damaged women’ who are of central importance in Conrad's late fiction. The study of her character and career is framed, on the one hand, by the feminism of Mrs Fyne and, on the other, by the frequently misogynistic commentary of Marlow. It is complemented by the exploration, in Part II, of Captain Anthony's conception of masculinity and its relation to the code of chivalry he has inherited from his father.

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