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Lord Jim tells the story of a young, idealistic Englishman - 'as unflinching as a hero in a book' - who is disgraced by a single act of cowardice while serving as an officer on the Patna, a merchant-ship sailing from an Eastern port. His life is blighted: an isolated scandal assumes horrifying proportions. An older man, Marlow, befriends Jim, and helps to establish him in Patusan, a remote Malay settlement. There he achieves a kind of peace, but his courage is put to the test once more. Lord Jim is one of the most profound and rewarding psychological novels in English. Set in the context of social change and colonial expansion in late Victorian England, it embodies in Jim the values and the turmoil of a fading empire. In his introduction and notes to this new edition Jacques Berthoud explores the social and cultural dynamics that inform the novel.
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