Joseph Conrad (1857 – 1924) was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Josef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski was born in the Ukraine to Polish parents. Josef was seven when his mother died. For three years, his father, a poet, translator, publisher and political exile, looked after the small boy, reading him Polish poetry and teaching him Maths and French. But in 1869 he died too. Eleven year old Josef was taken in by his maternal grandmother. He went to a local school for a couple of years, but boarded at the school. When Joseph was 15, his maternal uncle Tadeus Bobrowski became his guardian - by correspondence though, they rarely saw each other.
At age 16, Joseph was off, exploring the world as a sailor. Joseph Conrad took up writing in his 30s. He says he suddenly sat down one day at breakfast and began drafting his first book, which he worked on for a number of years. He sent the manuscript to publisher T.F.Unwin in 1894 when he was in London and looking for another job aboard a ship. That same year, 1894, his uncle Tadeus died, leaving Conrad enough money to commence his send book and to write for a year without the pressure of having to work full time. By the time of his death at 66 Joseph Conrad was recognised as one of the greatest writers in the English language.