The Life and Works Of Jack london

Jack London was a prolific American author who is celebrated for his powerful depiction of nature and the human struggle for survival. His novels and short stories have influenced many writers after him, and his writings about nature have made him a respected figure among present day environmentalists.

Jack Griffith London was born in the year 1876 in San Francisco. He was the son of astrologer William Henry Chaney and a music teacher Flora Wellman. After his father left him, his mother remarried a failed storekeeper called John London. He lived a life of poverty when he was young, and he started to develop a passion for reading when he was ten years old. He went to the Oakland Public Library to borrow books, and a person by the name of Ina Coolbirth introduced him to the works of Tolstoy, Flaubert and other influential writers.

London left school when he was 14 years old, and he became a seaman and a hobo. At the age of 19, despite having little formal education, he was able to gain entry into the University of California at Berkeley. He started writing during his college days, and soon, he was involved in a romantic relationship with a middle class girl called Mabel Applegate. In 1897, London joined the Klondike gold rush to seek a fortune, but the venture was not a successful one. The following year, he attempted to make ends meet by writing, and he managed to get his stories published in the Atlantic Monthly and Overland Monthly.

London married Elisabeth Maddern in 1900, and they had two daughters together. In the same year, his first novel The Son of the Wolf was published, and he began to dedicated more time to writing. Three years later, he decided to leave his wife and daughters to marry Charmian Kittredge, an outdoorswoman and editor, and this marriage would last until his death. By the end of 1904, London had completed ten novels, which included famous works such as The Call of the Wild and The Sea-Wolf. In 1907, he and Charmian started sailing around the world, but the journey ended in Australia.

After returning to the US, London bought a piece of land in Sonoma County. He started to devote himself to building his dream ranch, but the ranch was consumed by fire in 1913. Also, he found out from his doctor that he was suffering from kidney problems, and he was also troubled by alcoholism, debts, and fear of losing his ability to write. London died of gastro-intestinal uremia on the 22nd of November, 1916.

Some of the writers and theorists who influenced London were Kipling, Stevenson, Darwin, Marx, Spencer, Jung, and Nietzsche. In turn, his works had significant influence on later writers such as Upton Sinclair, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ruark, and Jack Kerouac. London’s most popular novels include The Sea-Wolf, The Road, The Call of the Wild, White Fang, Burning Daylight, The Little Lady of the Big House, Martin Eden, The Iron Heel, and The People of the Abyss.