The semiautobiographical Martin Eden is perhaps the most vital and original character Jack London ever created. Set in San Francisco, this is the story of an impoverished seaman who pursues dreams of literary fame.
By sheer force of will he educates himself and begins writing in earnest, hoping to acquire the respectability sought by his society-girl sweetheart.
“Ambition soared on mad wings, and he saw himself climbing the heights with her, pleasuring in beautiful and noble things with her. It was a soul-possession he dreamed…”
She spurns him when his writing is rejected by several magazines and even more so when he is falsely accused of being a socialist.
Ultimately, he succeeds in becoming a celebrated author (this is London's autobiographical novel, published in 1909, when he was thirty-three and the most popular living writer in the world).
After he achieves fame she tries to win him back, but Eden realizes her love is false.
Aware that his quest for bourgeois respectability was indeed hollow, Eden travels to the South Seas as a sailor again.
JACK LONDON (1876-1916) was an activist, journalist, short-story writer, novelist, and one of the most widely translated of American authors. London published over 50 books, and is most famous for The Sea Wolf, White Fang, The Call of the Wild, Martin Eden and The People of the Abyss.