A wonderful illustrated version with all 80 photographs from the first edition To understand this work, you need an edition with all of the photographs. Different from most of his other works, The People of the Abyss chronicles Jack London´s 3-month stay in the slums of East End London in 1902. To gather the information for the book, he lived undercover in some of the worst parts of London, staying in workhouses or sleeping on the streets. At a time when England was a powerful and rich nation, hundreds of thousands were living in abject poverty.
The People of the Abyss is a book about life in the East End of London. Jack London wrote this first-hand account by living in the East End for several months, sometimes staying in workhouses or sleeping on the streets. The conditions he experienced and wrote about were the same as those endured by an estimated 500,000 of the contemporary London poor. Jack London was an American author, journalist, and social activist, a pioneer in the world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. He is best remembered as the author of Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush. He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as The Pearls of Parlay and The Heathen, and of the San Francisco Bay area in The Sea Wolf.
The People of the Abyss is a book by Jack London about life in the East End of London in 1902. He wrote this first-hand account after living in the East End for several weeks, sometimes staying in workhouses or sleeping on the streets Jack London, pseudonym of John Griffith Chaney, American novelist and short-story writer whose best-known works—among them The Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906)—depict elemental struggles for survival. During the 20th century he was one of the most extensively translated of American authors. Deserted by his father, a roving astrologer, he was raised in Oakland, California, by his spiritualist mother and his stepfather, whose surname, London, he took. At age 14 he quit school to escape poverty and gain adventure. He explored San Francisco Bay in his sloop, alternately stealing oysters or working for the government fish patrol. He went to Japan as a sailor and saw much of the United States as a hobo riding freight trains and as a member of Charles T. Kelly’s industrial army (one of the many protest armies of the unemployed, like Coxey’s Army, that was born of the financial panic of 1893). London saw depression conditions, was jailed for vagrancy, and in 1894 became a militant socialist. London educated himself at public libraries with the writings of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche, usually in popularized forms. At 19 he crammed a four-year high school course into one year and entered the University of California, Berkeley, but after a year he quit school to seek a fortune in the Klondike gold rush. Returning the next year, still poor and unable to find work, he decided to earn a living as a writer. London studied magazines and then set himself a daily schedule of producing sonnets, ballads, jokes, anecdotes, adventure stories, or horror stories, steadily increasing his output. The optimism and energy with which he attacked his task are best conveyed in his autobiographical novel Martin Eden (1909). Within two years, stories of his Alaskan adventures began to win acceptance for their fresh subject matter and virile force. His first book, The Son of the Wolf: Tales of the Far North (1900), a collection of short stories that he had previously published in magazines, gained a wide audience. During the remainder of his life, London wrote and published steadily, completing some 50 books of fiction and nonfiction in 17 years. Although he became the highest-paid writer in the United States at that time, his earnings never matched his expenditures, and he was never freed of the urgency of writing for money. He sailed a ketch to the South Pacific, telling of his adventures in The Cruise of the Snark (1911). In 1910 he settled on a ranch near Glen Ellen, California, where he built his grandiose Wolf House. He maintained his socialist beliefs almost to the end of his life. Jack London’s output, typically hastily written, is of uneven literary quality, though his highly romanticized stories of adventure can be compulsively readable. His Alaskan novels The Call of the Wild (1903), White Fang (1906), and Burning Daylight (1910), in which he dramatized in turn atavism, adaptability, and the appeal of the wilderness, are outstanding. His short story “To Build a Fire” (1908), set in the Klondike, is a masterly depiction of humankind’s inability to overcome nature; it was reprinted in 1910 in the short-story collection Lost Face, one of many such volumes that London published.