'From that time for ten years Conrad followed the sea. The deep sea, reading all sorts of books. Once an officer with quarters of his own he resumed his reading of French along with the English popular works. He read with the greatest veneration Flaubert and Maupassant; with less, Daudet and Gautier; with much less, Pierre Loti. Tormented with the curiosity of words, even at sea, on the margins of the French books he made notes for the translation of phrases. The writer has seen several of these old books of Conrad, notably an annotated copy of "Pêcheur d'Islande" — and of course the copy of "Madame Bovary" upon the endpapers and margins of which "Almayer's Folly" was begun.'