In 2008, the Syndics of Cambridge University Press appointed as General Editors of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad Dr J H Stape and Prof Allan H Simmons.
With these appointments, responsibility for The Cambridge Edition passed from the Institute for Bibliography and Editing at Kent State University, Ohio, to the Centre for Joseph Conrad Studies at St Mary's University, Twickenham, London. Following John Stape’s death in 2016, Dr Alexandre Fachard of the Université de Genève, Switzerland, was invited to serve alongside Prof Allan Simmons as co-General Editor of the edition.
Stape and Simmons were tasked with reviving an edition that, begun four decades ago, had yielded just five volumes. Since the transfer of the edition to St Mary’s, twelve volumes have gone to press, most recently The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ (2017) and The Rover (2018).
Joseph Conrad's fiction is a staple of Modern Literature courses in universities around the world, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Sustaining this, an international community of Conrad scholars is served by Societies, journals and annual conferences dedicated to the life and works of this author. Yet there has been no corrected collected edition of Conrad's work to support this activity since that produced, often in unedited or poorly edited form, in the 1920s.
The objective of The Cambridge Edition is to produce the first complete and textually correct edition of Conrad’s writings that will serve this and future generations of scholars, and maintain the standards associated with Cambridge University Press.
Each volume will involve establishing a corrected text from the surviving original source materials. Thus, manuscripts, typescripts, proofs and, where it can be shown that Conrad had a hand in corrections, serial versions and first and second editions will be examined in order to generate texts that are denuded of house-styling and editorial and compositorial additions unsanctioned by the author.
Preparation of the edition will entail scholarship of the highest order. To meet this requirement, an international team of established scholars has been recruited and, so as to foster and sustain healthy scholarship, this will be supplemented by post-graduates whose textual work has already marked them out as textual scholars of the future.
The Centre has hosted a number of successful colloquia on Conrad textual studies, where editors and contributors to volumes discuss their research findings.