First published in 1909 and one of Jack Londonís wolfless works, Martin Eden concerns a sailor and labourer who educates himself so that he might become a part of the wealthy bourgeoisie. He aspires to a high-thinking life, inspired by the college-educated society girl Ruth Morse. Our hero becomes a writer and expresses in his works the views upon life he has learnt from his reading of Spencer. However, ony Russ Brissenden - a leftist poet based upon George Sterling - sees the value of his work. He loses his fiancée Ruth who does not value anything that is not "established" and sees him as a failure because magazines will not publish his writing and because he has become notorious for being a socialist although those accusations are untrue. The story sees Martin achieve fame at last but the fact that it is only as he is recognised by others that Ruth wants him back sickens him. With Brissendenís suicide and his own realisation that he has lost touch with his own class only to become enamoured of another far less satisfactory one comes the final tragedy in the South Seas. Some elements of the novel hint at autobiography on the part of London who was also a sailor.