Jack London's People of the Abyss

Jack London's People of the Abyss

Author: 
Jack London

A work of non-fiction by American writer and socialist Jack London (author of Call of the Wild) chronicling the lives and conditions of London's poorest residents at the turn of the 20th century. To write the book, he lived in London's East End for several months as a tramp and beggar.

Book Excerpt: 
The experiences related in this volume fell to me in the summer of 1902. I went down into the under-world of London with an attitude of mind which I may best liken to that of the explorer. I was open to be convinced by the evidence of my eyes, rather than by the teachings of those who had not seen, or by the words of those who had seen and gone before. Further, I took with me certain I simple criteria with which to measure the life of the under-world. That which made for more life, for physical and spiritual health, was good; that which made for less life, which hurt, and dwarfed, and distorted life, was bad. It will be readily apparent to the reader that I saw much that was bad. Yet it must not be forgotten that the time of which I write was considered "good times" in England. The starvation and lack of shelter I encountered constituted a chronic condition of misery which is never wiped out, even in the periods of greatest prosperity.
Year of Publication: 
Fri, 1904-01-01
Rights Information: 
public domain
File(s) (e.g., scanned article PDF): 
City of Publication: 
New York
Book Publisher: 
MacMillan: A Thomas Dunne book