1909: Martin Eden & Tono-Bungay
Author/Editor: Jack London
As a kid, Jack London was one of my favorite authors. I loved all the adventure stories he told. I read Martin Eden while in my teens. It was a bit more of an “adult-themed” story than I was used to from London, and contained some of the kind of political overtones social class themes that he was well-known for.
Author/Editor: H. G. Wells
In this social novel written toward the end of the Edwardian era, a British man from the lower class works with his uncle to advertise and sell “Tono-Bungay”—in reality, a useless medicine—to the masses. He and his family achieve great commercial success, but at what cost to their emotional and relational lives? H.G. Wells considered this work his “finest and most finished novel.”