Jack London was admired by many and thought only to live his life to the fullest, by whatever means necessary. He was born in San Francisco, in 1876. He was deserted by his father, "Professor" William Henry Chaney, an itinerant astrologer, and raised in Oakland by his mother Flora Wellman, a music teacher and spiritualist. London's stepfather John London, whose surname he took, was a failed storekeeper. As a boy poverty struck the London family. At the age of ten he constantly read, and borrowed books from the Oakland Public Library. Jack left school at the age of 14 and began work as a seaman, rode in freight trains, and adopted socialistic views. In 1894 he was arrested in Niagara Falls and jailed for vagrancy. These years made him determined to raise himself out of poverty but they also gave later material for such works as The Sea-Wolf (1904), which was partly based on his horrific experiences as a sailor in the Pacific Ocean.
The Road (1907), a collection of short stories, inspired later writers like John Steinbeck and Jack Kerouac.
London had required himself to write a thousand words a day, and he did not give up even during his travels and drinking periods. London's first novel, The Son of The Wolf, appeared in 1900. In 1901 London started to produce steadily novels, nonfiction, and short stories, becoming in his lifetime one of the most popular authors. In 1902 London went to England, where he studied the British living conditions in East End and working class areas of the capital city. Originally he set out for South Africa to report the Boer War. His book about the economic degradation of the poor, The People of the Abyss (1903), was a surprise success in the U.S. but criticized in...