Monday, July 25, 2011

Remember Jack London...?


Probably most young men remember reading one or more of Mr. London's stories.

Most memorable for me was "Call of the Wild", and I read it many times! I also have seen most all of the movie versions of this particular story. It's nice to know that so many of the elements of his writings came from his actually being in the settings described.

The man certainly had a colorful past and that's another reason to think of him as more of a historically accurate writer than most in his time.

Jul 25, 1897:

Jack London sails for the Klondike

Jack London leaves for the Klondike to join the gold rush, where he will write his first successful stories.

London was born in San Francisco in 1876. His father, an astrologer named Chaney, abandoned the family, and his mother, a spiritualist and music teacher, remarried. Jack assumed his stepfather's last name, London.

From an early age, London struggled to make a living, working in a cannery and as a sailor, oyster pirate, and fish patroller. During the national economic crisis of 1893, he joined a march of unemployed workers. He was jailed for vagrancy for a month, during which time he decided to go to college. The 17-year-old London completed a high school equivalency course and enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, where he read voraciously for a year. However, he dropped out to join the 1897 gold rush.

While in the Klondike, London began submitting stories to magazines. In 1900, his first collection of stories, The Son of the Wolf, was published. Three years later, his story The Call of the Wild made him famous around the country. London continued to write stories of adventure amid the harsh natural elements. During his 17-year career, he wrote 50 fiction and nonfiction books. He settled in northern California about 1911, having already written most of his best work. London, a heavy drinker, died in 1916.

It's funny how certain writers can make an impression on us. Even as a boy, I remember thinking that this man told a great story! I was more than likely convinced that the story was true!

Just reading about his start, thanks to History.com, has brought back a flood of memories from my younger reading days! How special some of those stories were to my young mind! What a series of adventures they were, helping to feed the games and create the many kingdoms of my friends and I!

What a glorious time it seemed! I hope I always remember it that way!

Now, my friends, lets get some fresh coffee and sit outside for just a bit!

24 comments:

Catman said...

Some people just know how to make a place for themselves in the world instead of waiting for the government to hand it to them.

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

I love his books! and I think I read most of those translated when I was young. Unfortunately he doesn´t seem to be that well known over here, except for the book "Call of the wild".

Have a great day!
Christer.

HermitJim said...

Hey Catman...
Seems like the folks that find a way to make it on their own turn out to be the most interesting!

Jack London seemed to be one of those!

Thanks for coming by this morning!


Hey Christer...
I'm glad you at least had a chance to read that one!

He does tell a pretty good story, for sure!

I appreciate your visit today!

Sixbears said...

He made an impression on me too in my younger days. His short story: To Build a Fire, haunts me to this day.

JoJo said...

You have posted another great piece of history I am going to have to look into this book and the others. I remember hearing about this book.
Its a bit chilly here this morning, but I'm off to the meadow to see if I can capture the deer that have been seen there. wish me luck

Old Jules said...

I loved the guy when I was a kid. Sometime in the '60s I came across The Iron Heel, which never made it big, but gives a whole new perspective on London. He had strong ideas about the oligarchy and the future. Predictive fiction, a bit like 1984 in some ways.

Nice post. Thanks.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
Maybe we should make him like the patron saint of all Preppers!

As I said earlier, strange how some writers can connect with us even after all the years!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!


Hey JoJo...
I think you will like the stories, especially if you haven't read them before.

Always glad to turn you onto a good book or writer!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Old Jules...
I don't remember that one, so I'm going to see if I can tract it down and reread it!

Thanks for bringing it up and for dropping by today!

edifice rex said...

I guess I was one of the few girls that loved his books but I read many, Call of the Wild, White Fang, To Build A Fire etc. I even remember doing an oral book report for class on one of his books and drew a big poster to go with it that the teacher kept for herself. I loved adventure books like that.

Felinae said...

Thank You, for sharing this info. with us. :)

Jack London has always been one of my favorite authors along with John Steinbeck. When I was in high school a class was offered called California Literature, of course I took it.

The whole class agenda was reading books by both of these men and a couple of other CA authors. There were tests and essays, but it was a great class. Loved it.

Have a great day!
~Fel~

HermitJim said...

Hey Anne...
I'll bet you were a pistol when you were younger...or now, if the truth be known!

Pretty cool that the teacher kept your poster for herself! Guess she knew talent when she saw it!

Thanks for coming by today, my friend!

HermitJim said...

Hey Felina...
So good to see you again! It's been way too long!

Sounds to me like a great class! I probably would have enjoyed it!

Thanks, girl, for dropping in today!

Annie Mouse said...

Jack London was one of the authors in the childrens section of the small library. I read every one of his books . Loved them, they seemed so real to me. thanks for the good memories
Annie

HermitJim said...

Hey Anne Mouse...
I think I felt the same way...about the stories seeming to be so real!

Think I'm going to go hunting for his books again! Might get lucky!

Certainly do thank you for dropping by today!

Bob Mc said...

"To Build A Fire" is a great short story. For those who like tales of the sea there's "The Sea Wolf".

Marjie said...

My youngest boy was reading Call of the Wild earlier this summer. As did all of his brothers, the little guy loved it.

Ted said...

HJ you made me think of Robert Service.There are several people that does his work justice.Hank Snow,Stuart Hamblen, Theres an interesting story on Stuart Hanmblen look him up on google.

Ted said...

Jim we travel down different roads but at times we're on the same one.Funny how things will open your mind up an send you down another road of thought.

HermitJim said...

Hey Bob...
I guess that we all have a favorite in his writings! That's usually the case about most writers.

Most of all his writings seemed to be filled with so much real life. I think that's one reason it was so popular.

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Marjie...
I believe the stories make the young in all of us come out a bit. Could be one of the reasons they were so popular!

Glad you are helping them enjoy reading. Opens a lot of doors for them!

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Ted...
That's another man that knew how to write in such a way to touch folks!

Couldn't hurt to have a few of his works make a comeback!

Thanks for the visit today!

Anonymous said...

Robert Service and Jack London- contemporaries in the Klondike with some wonderfully wild anecdotes of their times together. Love them both, have read all I can find of them, but Service is the only one I've committed to memory, have even put some of his poetry to music (and sound half-good, too! Well, Mom didn't always think so, but that's just HER opinion...)
Shy III

Craig Cavanaugh said...

"Call of the Wild" was one of my favorite books as a boy! Thanks for the trip down memory lane, I'll have to dig up my copy...

Annie Mouse said...

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search.html/?default_prefix=authors

project guttenberg.

you can download jack london stories

Stephanie in AR said...

My children are just getting to know Mr. Landon and are enjoying his writing. Reading is adventures is a nice way to get away from the heat for awhile.

HermitJim said...

Hey Shy...
Moms don't always appreciate our efforts, I'm afraid! Still, I think it's great that you did that!

Good to see you again. my friend! Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Craig...
Somehow I just knew you would be a fan! Like minds and all that, I guess!

It does bring back a lot of memories, doesn't it?

Thanks, buddy, for coming over today!


Hey Anne Mouse...
I really thank you for the link! I'm already putting it to use!

What a great source of reading material!

Thanks again!


Hey Stephanie...
Good to see you once more, my friend!

Right you are about the wonderful world of reading! What a series of mind trips and worlds of adventures lay ahead! Fun times!

Many thanks for coming over today!