Galsworthy was a passenger on a ship Conrad was first mate of: Conrad took the opportunity to discuss his first novel, still in progress. James was a neighbour, Wells a correspondent, and Ford collaborated on two books. Valéry met him when he came to inaugurate a plaque on Verlaine’s London lodgings, and later had a ‘maritime discussion’ with him. Epstein stayed with him while modelling a portrait bust. Bennett, Kipling, Crane and Lawrence (who called him “a giant of the subjective”) were all friends. He only met Russell a few times, but they felt a deep affinity, Russell naming his son Conrad after him.