The People of the Abyss by Jack London
In the summer of 1902, respected American author Jack London (1876-1916), previously known for his descriptions of life during the Klondike Gold Rush, spent two months living 'down by the docks' in London's East End among the city's poorest residents. During this time he often slept in workhouses or on the streets, seeing first-hand how the impoverished struggled daily for adequate food, clothing and shelter while the rest of the city lived in relative prosperity - a prosperity which the author believed was gained at the expense of the poor. One of the earliest eyewitness descriptions of life in the slums of London, this book would influence later socially minded authors such as George Orwell. The text is also illustrated with photographs of the places and people mentioned, offering an important insight into the living conditions of the poor at the dawn of the twentieth century.