"we recalled the already old story of the attempt to blow up the Greenwich Observatory"

Ford Madox Ford
Public DomainFord Madox Ford

In his Author’s Note, written in 1920 in response to the outrage which The Secret Agent drew from some quarters, Conrad recalls a discussion with Ford Madox Ford about the 1894 bombing in Greenwich Park. Struck by the senselessness of the act, in which French anarchist Martial Bourdin died, Conrad cites the attack as the inspiration for his book.