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  • Published: 25 August 1994
  • ISBN: 9780140187724
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • RRP: $27.99

Martin Eden



Jack London's semiautobiographical critique of individualism that touches on contemporary issues like socialism and mental illness, now two major motion pictures―one directed by Pietro Marcello, the other by Jay Craven

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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

  • Published: 25 August 1994
  • ISBN: 9780140187724
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • RRP: $27.99

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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