American author and photographer Jack London visited his namesake city in 1902; at that time, it was the largest city in the world. He lived in the Whitechapel district sleeping in workhouses, so-called doss-houses, and even on the streets.
In his book ‘The People of the Abyss, Jack London has described that about half a million people lived in these awful and terrible conditions in London. The book was published in 1903, the same year as his novel Call of the Wild was serialized.
London was most disturbed by the number of old men, young men, all manner of men, and boys to boot, and all manner of boys, who had no other choice other than to sleep on the streets.