History & Criticism
A profound and moving piece of investigative journalism, Jack London’s study of the London underworld remains, a century after it was written, a timely tale of poverty and injustice. In 1902, Jack London purchased some second-hand clothes, rented a room in the East End, and set out to discover how the London poor lived. His research makes shocking reading. Moving through the slums as one of the poor; eating, drinking and socialising with the underclass; queuing to get into a doss-house, London was scandalised and brutalised by the experience of living rough in Britain’s capital. His clear-eyed reflections on the iniquities of class are a shaming testament to the persistence of social inequality in modern Britain.