This, the fifth book by Jack London, appeared in 1904, and is one of his most famous novels. His more successful works were generally of the short story variety, but in this splendid tale of adventure on the high seas, he created the memorable character of Wolf Larsen. As one writer said: "the great thing—and it is among the greatest of things—is that tremendous creation, Wolf Larsen ... the hewing out and setting up of such a figure is enough for a man to do in one lifetime." The same critic, however, noted that "The love element, with its absurd suppressions, and impossible proprieties, is awful."
John Griffith "Jack" London (1876–1916) was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. A pioneer in the world of commercial magazine fiction, he was one of the first writers to become a worldwide celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing. He was also an early creator of works of 'science fiction'. His novels are set variously in the Klondike Gold Rush ('The Call of the Wild' and 'White Fang'), the South Pacific ('The Pearls of Parlay' and 'The Heathen'), or San Francisco Bay ('The Sea Wolf'). A member of the radical literary group "The Crowd" in San Francisco and a passionate advocate of unionisation, socialism, and the rights of workers, he wrote several powerful works dealing with these topics, such as his dystopian novel "The Iron Heel", his non-fiction exposé "The People of the Abyss", and "The War of the Classes".
Our first edition (2nd impression) copy is in very good condition for its age, bound in dark blue cloth with a printed illustration of sailors working on a mast and mainsail on the front, the title in gilt and the author's name in white lettering in bands across the picture; title etc also in gilt lettering on the spine. Publisher's emblem is imprinted on the back. Externally there are few signs of wear - some whitening along the spine angles, minor bumping of corners, one or two minute white spots, a little shelf wear to top & bottom of the spine - and inside, the binding is generally firm with no loose pages (one weak point at pp.192-3), and all pages are clean and bright. Endpapers a little grubby. Page tops stained dark blue. The six illustrations are all present, and the frontispiece retains its tissue guard, which is undamaged. A very nice copy.