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The People of the Abyss

By: Jack London

The People of the Abyss (1903) is a book by Jack London made up of his firsthand account of life in the East End of London.

Here, London describes the Whitechapel district, where he lived for several weeks in 1902. London attempted to understand the working-class of this deprived area of his namesake city. To this end, he slept in workhouses or on the streets. He stayed as a lodger with a poor family. The conditions he experienced and wrote about were the same as those endured by an estimated 500,000 of the contemporary London poor.


London would also use the expression "the people of the abyss" in The Iron Heel (1907), his work of dystopian science fiction,

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Jack London

United States

John Griffith London was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors to become an internatio...

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