"the biography of Darwin which in turn has something to do with a Conrad novel"

The work of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) on the theory of evolution by natural selection had a profound impact on author Joseph Conrad (1857-1924).  The novel in question is probably Lord Jim, a "morally fraught" seafaring tale whose protagonist - according to Redmond O'Hanlon in Joseph Conrad and Charles Darwin: The Influence of Scientific Thought on Conrad's Fiction (1984) - retraces the evolutionary journey of mankind.