"I had an aunt, a dear enthusiastic soul"
Marguerite Poradowska
Public DomainMarguerite Poradowska

Conrad's eventual employment in the Congo was confirmed largely through the efforts of Marguerite Poradowska, the widow of Conrad's distant cousin, Aleksander Poradowski. Well connected in Brussels, she had pulled strings to secure Conrad's appointment.

Poradowska, herself a writer of French fiction, corresponded with Conrad during his transition from seaman to author, and the two frequently discussed each other's work. Conrad addressed her as Tante (Aunt) in his correspondence.