Jack London

Jack London (John Griffith London), 1876–1916, American author, b. San Francisco. The illegitimate son of William Chaney, an astrologer, and Flora Wellman, a seamstress and medium, he had a poverty-stricken childhood, and was brought up by his mother and her subsequent husband, John London. At 17 he shipped out as an able seaman to Japan and the Bering Sea. He was at times an oyster poacher, a hobo, a laborer, a gold-seeker in the first Klondike rush, and a newspaper correspondent during the Russo-Japanese War and Mexican Revolution. His stories, romantic adventures with realistic characters and settings, often where life is harsh and hard to sustain, began to appear first in the Overland Monthly and soon after in The Atlantic. In 1900, The Son of the Wolf: Tales of the Far North was published. London's Klondike tales are exciting, vigorous, and brutal. The Call of the Wild (1903), about a tame dog who becomes wild and eventually leads a wolf pack, is one of the best animal stories ever written. Among his other works are The Sea-Wolf (1904), White Fang (1905), and Smoke Bellew (1912). Martin Eden (1909) and Burning Daylight (1910) are partly autobiographical. Although he was a highly paid writer of extremely popular fiction, London, a socialist, considered his social tracts—The People of the Abyss (1903) and The Iron Heel (1907)—as his most important work. The Cruise of the Snark (1911) is a vivid account of his interrupted voyage around the world in a 50-ft (15.2-m) ketch-rigged yacht, and John Barleycorn; or, Alcoholic Memoirs (1913) is autobiographical. Beset in his later years by alcoholism and financial difficulties, London died at the age of 40. There is a museum in Shreveport, La., devoted to London and his works.

See C. London, his second wife, The Log of the Snark (1915), Our Hawaii (1917), and The Book of Jack London (2 vol., 1921); biographies by his daughter, Joan London (1969), and by J. Hedrick (1982), A. Sinclair (1983), C. Stasz (1988), A. Kershaw (1998), and E. Labor (2013); studies by E. Labor (1977) and C. Watson (1982).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Jack London: Selected full-text books and articles

Jack London: A Writer's Fight for a Better America By Cecelia Tichi University of North Carolina Press, 2015
Jack London's Racial Lives: A Critical Biography By Jeanne Campbell Reesman University of Georgia Press, 2009
The Critical Response to Jack London By Susan M. Nuernberg Greenwood Press, 1995
The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories By Jack London; Earle Labor; Robert C. Leitz III Oxford University Press, 1998
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Psychoanalysis of Jack London's the Call of the Wild and White Fang By Yang, Hongyan English Language Teaching, Vol. 8, No. 11, November 1, 2015
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Understanding The Call of the Wild: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents By Claudia Durst Johnson Greenwood Press, 2000
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
FREE! John Barleycorn By Jack London Century, 1913
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Sea-Wolf By Jack London Bantam Books, 1963
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Canvas and Steam: Historical Conflict in Jack London's Sea-Wolf By Papa, James A., JR The Midwest Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 3, Spring 1999
Jack London's Strong Truths By James I. McClintock Michigan State University Press, 1997
Jack London's Influential Role as an Observer of Early Modern Asia By Metraux, Daniel A Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Vol. 30, Annual 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Jack London's New Woman: A Little Lady with a Big Stick By Furer, Andrew J Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 22, No. 2, Autumn 1994
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
"No Ties except Those of Blood": Class, Race, and Jack London's American Plague By Raney, David Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 39, No. 4, Fall 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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