Jack London

Easton Press Jack London books

White Fang - 1973
The Sea Wolf - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written  - 1979
The Call of The Wild - 1980
Before Adam - Masterpieces of Science Fiction - 1987
The Great Short Stories of Jack London
The Cruise of the Snark - 2003

Franklin Library Jack London books

The Call of The Wild - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1977
The Sea Wolf - World's Best Loved Books - 1980
Tales of the Northland - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1983

Author Jack London

Jack London, born John Griffith Chaney on January 12, 1876, in San Francisco, California, was a prolific American author whose adventurous spirit and social consciousness left an indelible mark on literature. Raised in a working-class family, London experienced a childhood marked by poverty and hardship, factors that would later inform much of his writing. London's early years were characterized by a thirst for adventure and a voracious appetite for knowledge. Despite facing numerous challenges, including his family's financial struggles and his own battle with alcoholism, London remained determined to forge his path in life. Jack London's formal education consisted of a year in high school and a few months at the University of California. From the age of fifteen to twenty two, London was in turn a seaman, a tramp, a seeker of gold in the Klondike, and a militant socialist; he was a newspaper correspondent during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) and in Mexico (1914). He worked a variety of other jobs, including as a laborer, oyster pirate, and sailor, all of which provided him with firsthand experiences that would later find expression in his writing.

London's literary career began to take shape in the late 1890s with the sale of a number of magazine stories, as he embarked on a journey of self-discovery and creative exploration. His first book, a collection of stories, was The Son of the Wolf (1900). Jack London went on to write over forty books, including novels, short stories, and miscellaneous books. His fictional books, in which the central character is usually a man of simple, primitive, and vigorous character, are marker by powerful realism, romantic feeling, and humanitarian sentiment. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and his own experiences as a seaman, London penned his first major work, The Call of the Wild, in 1903. This novel, which follows the adventures of a domesticated dog named Buck as he adapts to the harsh realities of life in the Yukon wilderness, struck a chord with readers worldwide and catapulted London to literary fame. Following the success of The Call of the Wild, London continued to produce a steady stream of novels, short stories, and essays that explored themes of adventure, survival, and the struggle for existence. His works, including White Fang, The Sea-Wolf, a tale of wild adventure; and Martin Eden, captivated audiences with their vivid imagery, gripping narratives, and penetrating insights into the human condition. His other books (novels unless otherwise characterized) include The God of his Fathers (1901), Short stories of the Klondike; A Daughter of the Snows (1902); Tales of the Fish Patrol (1905), short stories of adventure; The Game (1905), a tragic tale of the prize ring; The Iron Heel (1908), which prophesied the coming of fascism; The Abysmal Brute (1913), another tale about pugilism; John Barleycorn (1913), an autobiographical account of the author's struggle against alcoholism; The Valley of the Moon (1913) in which Jack London set forth his Socialist ideas; The Star Rover (1915), a novel concerning reincarnation; and Jerry of the Islands (posthumously published, 1917), a tale of an Irish setter.

Beyond his contributions to literature, London was also a committed social activist and advocate for social justice. Inspired by his own experiences of poverty and inequality, London used his platform as a writer to champion causes such as workers' rights, socialism, and racial equality. His socialist leanings found expression in works such as The Iron Heel, a dystopian novel that explores the rise of a tyrannical oligarchy in America. Among others of Jack London books are a book of Socialist essays, The War of the Classes (1905), and a sociological study of life in the poverty stricken East End section of the city of London, The People of the Abyss (1913).

Tragically, London's life was cut short at the age of 40, when he died suddenly on November 22, 1916, in Glen Ellen, California. Despite his untimely passing, London's literary legacy endures as a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit and the transformative potential of storytelling. His works continue to inspire readers of all ages with their timeless themes, vibrant characters, and unflinching social critique. Jack London, the literary pioneer of adventure and social consciousness, remains an icon of American literature and a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.

How did Jack London die?

Jack London's death occurred on November 22, 1916, at his ranch in Glen Ellen, California. The exact cause of his death has been a subject of debate and speculation over the years. London's death certificate lists the cause of death as uremia, a condition associated with kidney failure. However, it's worth noting that London had been suffering from various health issues, including kidney problems, for some time prior to his death.

Some biographers and scholars have suggested that London's death may have been a result of a combination of factors, including his heavy drinking, strenuous work schedule, and possible overdose of morphine, which he had been prescribed for pain relief. Others have proposed that he may have intentionally overdosed on morphine due to the chronic pain and depression he was experiencing. However, the exact circumstances surrounding his death remain uncertain, and it is likely that we will never know the full truth.

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