In the summer of 1902 Jack London travelled on the White Star Liner, RMS Majestic, from New York to England, on a trip of private exploration of British society. He had travelled to New York to sail to South Africa to cover the Boer War for Hearst, but the war ended before he could sail. While in London he researched and photographed the urban poor in the City’s East End, as background for his book, The People of the Abyss which was published in 1903.
The RMS Majestic was launched in 1889, and won the Blue Riband in August 1891 with an average speed of 20.1 knots. In 1895, Majestic was turned over to Captain Edward Smith who would serve as her captain for nine years, and later be famous as the man in command of the ill fated Titanic when she sank.