The many lives of the American literary legend whose works include the classic Call of the Wild.
"I would rather be a superb meteor, and that each of my atoms shines with a magnificent brilliance, rather than a sleeping planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I will not waste my life trying to prolong my life. I want to burn all my time." - Jack London.
Jack London (1876-1916), the author of such classics as Call of the Wild, White Fang and Martin Eden, was the last great voice of the American frontier and a master of the adventure novel. The Lives of Jack London was published first in France as Les vies de Jack London to coincide with the release of the film documentary of the same name in 2016, the centenary of his death.
This book's title is apt, for London's adventures and achievements far exceeded his short life. Shared here are stories of a life of magnificent brilliance - riding the rails, pirating oysters, shovelling coal and joining the Gold Rush, sailing the world, immersing himself in island societies, joyous family life, a lifelong "1,000 words a day habit" and ultimately tragedy. This engrossing and beautifully illustrated account features 400 period photographs, press clippings and letters, the majority of them never before published: The Golden Gate 1876-1893 Childhood and youth in the San Francisco Bay Area; oyster pirating; seal hunting expeditions in the Bering Strait; The Savage Face of Capitalism 1893-1897 Works at a cannery factory, cross-country protest march with unemployed workers; life
as a hobo; participates in Socialist activism; resolves to educate himself; The Call of the Great North 1897-1902 Prospecting for gold in Alaska and the Yukon; returns home to write; first publication of his short stories; Celebrity 1902-1904 Newfound social status; marriage and birth of two daughters; newspaper journalist; The People of the Abyss and The Call of the Wild are published; purchases the Spray; War Correspondent 1904 Reporting in Korea during the Russo-
Japanese War; The Valley of the Moon 1904-1906 Divorce, and second marriage; family life; writes White Fang, continues political activism; San Francisco Earthquake 1906-1907 Makes plans to sail around the world; eyewitness report of the earthquake; The Snark, Pacific Travels 1907-1908 San Francisco, Hawaii, the
Marquesas Islands, Tahiti and Samoa; The Snark, Conflict in the Black Islands 1908 to 1909 Melanesia (Fiji, New Hebrides, Solomon Islands). Conflict in the region, illness forces his return home; Return to California 1909-1911 Becomes a landowner; granddaughter dies; purchases the Roamer sailboat; builds "Wolf
House"; moves to Glen Eden cottage; Close Calls 1911-1913 Personal disasters and heartbreaks, wife's miscarriage, loses Wolf House to fire, begins drinking heavily; Jack London Films 1913-1914 Works in Hollywood on film adaptations of his works; Vera Cruz 1914-1916 Reporting for William Randolph Hearst on the American military intervention in Mexico; articles supporting Washington, conflict with Socialist Party; Between Glen Eden and Hawaii 1914 to 1916 Heavy financial losses; health deteriorates; convalesces in Hawaii; discovers psychoanalysis and Jung; death at Glen Eden.
Jack London lived his meteoric life during a time of tumultuous change in North America. The Lives of Jack London is an engrossing and beautifully illustrated retelling of the vibrant and ultimately tragic life of one of America's greatest writers.