Press Release: The Secret Agent
Introduced by Will Self
Illustrated by Ben Jones
With a note by the author
‘The Secret Agent remains the most brilliant novelistic study of terrorism as viewed from the blood-spattered outside’
Will Self ’s provocative introduction and Ben Jones’s disturbing portraits complete the Folio edition of The Secret Agent; Joseph Conrad’s startling terror-attack fiction set in Edwardian London. The novel’s inspiration was an actual failed plot to bomb the Greenwich Observatory, in 1894.
Amongst the greatest English-language writers, Conrad dives into the seething heart of a city on the edge of terror. He lays the seedy heart of the city’s anarchist element bare; its human flotsam and jetsam relentlessly derided through his scathing and often comic descriptions. And, as Will Self notes in a newly commissioned introduction, Conrad wrote his novel against the backdrop of an increasingly direct-action suffragette movement, while the city existed in a state of perpetual alert. Self thoughtfully examines one of the great works of a truly talented storyteller; a prescient thriller that delves deep into the mind-set of fanaticism.
Mr Verloc makes his specious living purveying overpriced, erotic publications. The cover suits him well; his comings and goings seem part and parcel of his business dealings and he is able to freely operate as a secret agent without resorting to disguise or clandestine rendezvous. Verloc’s assignment is to stir anarchist confusion and heighten insecurities through an act of terror…
The shady characters are captured in mesmerising portraits by awardwinning illustrator Ben Jones; his work an electrifying hybrid of print-making and graphic drawing that is perfectly suited to Conrad’s Edwardian London. His lifelike portraits stare right through the viewer; the illusion of texture and the stark graphic shapes framing the eerily realistic expressions of the characters.
Bound in blocked cloth. Set in Sabon with Clarendon as display. 296 pages. 7 full-page colour illustrations. Slipcase blocked with UV spot varnish. 9˝ x 5¾˝
UK £34.95 US $54.95 Can $69.95 Aus $79.95
For media enquiries please contact
UK & ROW Ken Hooper, Cherish PR
020 3626 0282,
US & Canada Cathleen P. Williamson