"I would rather be ashes than dust!" --Jack London

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message 1: by Rebecca, Champagne Widows, 2021 (new)

Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot." --Jack London

40 short years living life like a meteor across the sky!

1. Jack London learned to read at 4, which he did everyday at Heinold's Saloon, which you can visit today in Oakland, California!

2. He worked from age 6 to support his family, setting up bowling pins, delivering newspapers. As a teenager he worked in the Oakland Cannery and boxed for money.

3. When it was never enough, Jack traveled from Oakland to the Yukon to mine for gold. That is where is started writing his amazing adventure stories.

4. He married Charmian and started building a 43 foot ketch to sail around the world, though they had only sailed the San Francisco Bay before that!

5. They sailed in 1906. Really? Who does that? Sail to Hawaii, the Fijis, the Samoan Islands meeting headhunters and cannibals. Both Jack and Charmian wrote about their adventures.

6. All the time, he was writing. And he could not write without the daily support of Charmian London who would type his stories, editing later. He wrote 50 books in 15 years. An enormous effort.

7. Jack loved his beauty Ranch. Loved to farm, fish, ride on his beloved Shire, always Charmian by his side.

8. His memoir, John Barleycorn details his life-long relationship with alcohol, how he drank sometimes until he saw Pink Elephants. Charmian would bargain with him to finish his work, stalling his drinking a few hours. He smoked constantly.

9. At forty Jack London's kidneys could take no more, and the golden voice of Jack London would live on in his books.

10. Charmian spent the next 40 years writing her own books, and promoting the legacy Jack London left in books and movies.


BEST FIRST NOVEL nominee, Center for FictionThe Secret Life of Mrs. London

message 2: by Paulette (new)

Paulette | 1 comments He was driven, always the next adventure or story awaiting. It's just amazing to think of his having written 50 books in 15 years, that alone boggles my mind, let alone all the other adventures Jack London instigated. Thanks for bringing his history and that of Houdini into this era, Rebecca Rosenberg, thru Charmian. Having visited Jack London State Park many years ago, your book really made an impact on me. Thanks for that fantastic "come to life" story.

message 3: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Pulley (dmpulley) | 2 comments 50 books in 15 years? What an amazing (and tragically short) life!

message 4: by Rebecca, Champagne Widows, 2021 (new)

Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
yes, close to impossible to write that much even with the help of Charmian London!

message 5: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
After I read your book, I realized how much we have to thank Charmian for Jack's books — I'm thinking she did more than edit some of them. One might say she co-wrote a few. Is that true?

message 6: by Rebecca, Champagne Widows, 2021 (new)

Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
Martha, you are an author, so you know what it takes to write a book. Jack London wrote 50 books in 15 years-- how is that possible? Charmian London had a lot to do with how productive he was! ;-)

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