About Joseph Conrad (from wikipedia):
Joseph Conrad was a Polish-born English novelist.
Conrad is regarded as one of the greatest novelists in English, though he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties (and then always with a marked Polish accent). He wrote stories and novels, predominantly with a nautical or seaboard setting, that depict trials of the human spirit by the demands of duty and honour.
Conrad was a master prose stylist who brought a distinctly non-English tragic sensibility into English literature. While some of his works have a strain of romanticism, he is viewed as a precursor of modernist literature. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many authors.
About Lord Jim:
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 ruined: an isolated scandal has assumed horrifying proportions. But, then he is befriended by an older man named Marlow who helps to establish him in exotic Patusan, a remote Malay settlement where his courage is put to the test once more.
Lord Jim is a book about courage and cowardice, self-knowledge and personal growth. It 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 turmoil of a fading empire.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Lord Jim #85 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.