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  • Published: 25 August 1994
  • ISBN: 9780140187724
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480

Martin Eden



The semiautobiographical Martin Eden is the most vital and original character Jack London ever created. Set in San Francisco, this is the story of Martin Eden, an impoverished seaman who pursues, obsessively and aggressively, dreams of education and literary fame. London, dissatisfied with the rewards of his own success, intended Martin Eden as an attack on individualism and a criticism of ambition; however, much of its status as a classic has been conferred by admirers of its ambitious protagonist. Andrew Sinclair's wide-ranging introduction discusses the conflict between London's support of socialism and his powerful self-will. Sinclair also explores the parallels and divergences between the life of Martin Eden and that of his creator, focusing on London's mental depressions and how they affected his depiction of Eden.

  • Published: 25 August 1994
  • ISBN: 9780140187724
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480

About the author

Jack London

Jack London was born into poverty in San Francisco in 1876. Before his success as a novelist, London spent a lot of time avoiding a life as a manual worker and, in the process, experienced many things that became central to his plots. He ran away from home, bought a sailing boat and became an oyster pirate - a story recounted in John Barleycorn. His best-known novel, The Call of the Wild, was drawn from his own experience of the Klondike Gold Rush, a time that would inspire many of London's short stories as well. London became addicted to writing after winning a short story competition in the San Francisco Morning Call in 1893. It earned London $25, the equivalent of a month's wages. Dozens of books followed - including John Barleycorn (1913), The Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906). He published an average of three or four books a year. He died in 1916.

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