Set in Malaya, Almayer’s Folly is Joseph Conrad’s first novel. In it he charts the decline of a Dutch merchant after a twenty-five-year struggle against overwhelming odds. Unhappily married to a bitter and hateful Malayan wife, Almayer refuses to accept the financial ruin which he has precipitated. Instead, he dreams of fantastic wealth and a return to the civilization of his youth, accompanied by his loving daughter, Nina. Almayer’s Folly was published in 1895, and it became the first in a long series of novels and stories including Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, Nostromo, Victory, and Under Western Eyes, which have distinguished Conrad in the top rank of English stylists. The romance and adventure of Conrad’s own life form the basis for his incomparable novels of the sea and the magical Eastern islands.