"The Sea-Wolf was written in six months and was started May 5, 1903 on a mossy shelf down the slope from Wake Robin Lodge on the bank of Graham Creek during the time of Jack's breakup with Bessie. The last half was written during his torrid romance with Charmian Kittredge. It was completed in the Bungalow in Piedmont, at 1216 Telegraph Avenue and on the Spray. Jack corrected the final proofs on September 3, 1904 and when he left to report the Russo - Japanese War on January 6, 1904, arrangements were made for his friend George Sterling to do the final editing of the book.
According to Jack, most of the events in the book were drawn from his own experience aboard the Sophie Sutherland, but actually they were more from the "sea yarns" related either by some of the old seafarers who were his shipmates or by the newspaper accounts of Captain Alexander McLean, who was the prototype for Wolf Larsen."
Kingman, Russ A Pictorial Life of Jack London, Crown (1979)
"One balmy summer night in late July, 1903, London read the first half of the book aloud to his family and friends. Shortly thereafter, without warning, he separated from his wife and children. Within the year, he married Charmian Kittredge, who is represented in The Sea-Wolf by Maud Brewster, the woman who comes aboard the Ghost in the second half of the book. The novel, completed and published in 1904, sold 40,000 copies to bookstores before its release. It became a best-seller at once on both sides of the Atlantic. It's author was already known in Europe, where his description of the London slums in People of the Abyss, published a year earlier, had won him a large following.
The prose is vigorous, the story exciting, the characters real, and the intellectual tone in the confrontation between Humphrey Van Weyden's idealism and Wolf Larsen's materialism stimulating. As a great sea story of action and adventure, it appeals strongly to the young male reader. The sentimental love episodes in the latter half appeal especially to the adolescent girl."
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