Considered by many to be America’s finest author, Jack London, whose name at birth was John Griffith Chaney, was born “south of the slot”—an area south of Market Street and its cable lines in San Francisco, California, on January 12, 1876. The California Historical Society has placed a plaque, attached to a former Wells Fargo Building at Third and Brannan Streets, at what was formerly 615 Third Street, a home destroyed by the famous April 18, 1906 fire that accompanied the great quake. This plaque states that it “marks the birthplace of the noted author Jack London . . .” The plaque marks the location of the home of the Slocums, friends of Flora, Jack’s mother, where it has been said she was living after her reported suicide attempt and release from Dr. Ruttley’s (which was on Mission Street). Jack’s birth certificate does not indicate where he was born, so although we cannot verify this as the actual birthplace of Jack London, at the time, most children were born at home, so this is feasible. Jack had little formal schooling. Initially, he attended school only through the 8th grade, although he was an avid reader, educating himself at public libraries, especially the Oakland Public Library under the tutelage of Ina Coolbrith, who later became the first poet laureate of California. In later years (mid-1890s), Jack returned to high school in Oakland and graduated. He eventually gained admittance to U.C. Berkeley, but stayed only for six months, finding it to be “not alive enough” and a “passionless pursuit of passionless intelligence”.In 1900, Jack married his math tutor and friend, Bess Maddern. It was a Victorian marriage typical of the time, based on “good breeding”, not love. With Bess, he had two daughters — Joan and Bess (“Becky”). Following his separation from Bess in 1903, he married his secretary, Charmian Kittredge, whom he considered his “Mate Woman” and with whom he found true love. Together, they played, traveled, wrote and enjoyed life. Their one child, Joy, only lived for thirty-eight hours.By his death at age forty on November 22, 1916, Jack had been plagued for years by a vast number of health problems, including stomach disturbances, ravaging uremia, and failing kidneys. His death certificate states that he died of uremic poisoning.
White Fang's Storyby JACK LONDON
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
The story begins before the three-quarters wolf-dog hybrid is born, with two men and their sled dog team on a journey to deliver a coffin to a remote town named Fort McGurry in the higher area of the Yukon Territory, Canada. The men, Bill and Henry, are stalked by a large pack of starving wolves over the course of several days. Finally, after all of their dogs and Bill have been eaten, four more teams find Henry trying to escape from the wolves; the wolf pack scatters when they hear the large group of people coming. The story then follows the pack, which has been robbed of its last prey. When the pack finally manages to bring down a moose, the famine is ended; they eventually split up, and the story now follows a she-wolf and her mate, One Eye. The she-wolf gives birth to a litter of five cubs by the Mackenzie River, and all but one die from hunger. One Eye is killed by a lynx while trying to rob its den for food for the she-wolf and her cub; his mate later discovers his remains near the lynx's den. The surviving cub and the she-wolf are left to fend for themselves. Shortly after the she-wolf manages to successfully kill all the lynx kittens, prompting the lynx to track her down and a vicious fight breaks out. The she-wolf eventually kills the lynx but suffers severe injury, the lynx carcass is devoured over a period of seven days.
The cub comes across five Native Americans one day, and the she-wolf comes to his rescue. One man, Grey Beaver, recognizes the she-wolf as Kiche, his brother's wolfdog, who left during a famine. Grey Beaver's brother is dead, so he takes Kiche and her cub, christening the cub White Fang. White Fang has a harsh life in the Indian camp; the current puppy pack, seeing him as a wolf, immediately attack him. He is saved by the Indians, but the pups never accept him, and the leader Lip-lip singles him out for persecution. White Fang grows to become a savage, morose, solitary, and deadly fighter, "the enemy of his kind."
"In order to face the constant danger of hurt and even of destruction, his predatory and protective faculties were unduly developed. He became quicker of movement than the other dogs, swifter of foot, craftier, deadlier, more lithe, more lean with ironlike muscle and sinew, more enduring, more cruel, more ferocious, and more intelligent. He had to become all these things, else he would not have held his own nor survived the hostile environment in which he found himself."
When White Fang is five years old, he is taken to Fort Yukon so that Grey Beaver can trade with the gold-hunters. There, he is bought with several bottles of whiskey by a dog-fighter, Beauty Smith, who gets Grey Beaver addicted to alcohol. White Fang defeats all opponents, including several wolves and a lynx, until a bulldog is brought in to fight him. The bulldog manages to get a grip on the skin and fur of White Fang's neck, and slowly and surely begins to throttle him. White Fang nearly suffocates, but is rescued when a rich, young gold hunter, Weedon Scott, happens by and stops the fight.
Scott attempts to tame White Fang and after a long patient effort he succeeds. When Scott attempts to return to California alone, White Fang pursues him, and Scott decides to take the dog with him back home. In Sierra Vista, White Fang must adjust to the laws of the estate. At the end of the book, a murderous criminal, Jim Hall, tries to kill Weedon Scott's father, Judge Scott, for sentencing him to prison, not knowing that Hall was "railroaded". White Fang kills Hall and is nearly killed himself, but survives. As a result, the women of Scott's estate name him "The Blessed Wolf", and the story ends with White Fang relaxing in the sun with the puppies he had fathered with the sheep-dog Collie.
- BN ID:
- Romeo Publications
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 621 KB
Meet the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews