In 1890, at the age of 32, Conrad was appointed by a Belgian trading company to serve on one of its steamers. While sailing up the Congo River from one station to another, the captain became ill and Conrad assumed command. Joseph Conrad, born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language.He joined the British merchant marine in 1878, and was granted British nationality in 1886.
New York Public Library Conrad was in the Congo for four months, returning to England in January 1891. He made several more voyages as a first mate, but by 1894, when his guardian Tadeusz Bobrowski died, his sea life was over. ― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.