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John Griffith Chaney â€” aka Jack London, whose life symbolized the power of will, was the most successful writer in America in the early 20th Century. His vigorous stories of men and animals against the environment, and survival against hardships were drawn mainly from his own experience. An illegitimate child, London passed his childhood in poverty in the Oakland slums. At the age of 17, he ventured to sea on a sealing ship. The turning point of his life was a thirty-day imprisonment that was so degrading it made him decide to turn to education and pursue a career in writing. His years in the Klondike searching for gold left their mark in his best short stories; among them, The Call of the Wild, and White Fang. His best novel, The Sea-Wolf, was based on his experiences at sea. His work embraced the concepts of unconfined individualism and Darwinism in its exploration of the laws of nature. He retired to his ranch near Sonoma, where he died at age 40 of various diseases and drug treatments.
The classic story of a remarkable dog. Buck, lives a comfortable life as top dog at the home of the Judge. Son of a handsome St Bernard, Buck too is handsome, intelligent and totally trusted by the household. But everything changes when Buck is stolen from his life of luxury and forced into the harsh labour of a sledge dog in the heart of the icy Yukon Territory. How Buck survives his savage ordeal and responds to the pull of life as a dog living in the wild is a powerful story of the reality of nature which can only partially be trained out of the dog.
The classic story of a remarkable dog. Buck, lives a comfortable life as top dog at the home of the Judge. Son of a handsome St Bernard, Buck too is handsome, intelligent and totally trusted by the household. But everything changes when Buck is stolen from his life of luxury and forced into the harsh labour of a sledge dog in the heart of the icy Yukon Territory. How Buck survives his savage ordeal and responds to the pull of life as a dog living in the wild is a powerful story of the reality of nature which can only partially be trained out of the dog. Just click here to view our range of Children’s Classics.
A classic animal story set in the harsh and desolate wastelands of the north where the only rule is kill for survival or be killed and eaten yourself. Here White Fang, half-dog, half-wolf is born – the only cub of the litter to survive. The wolf pack are starving and so too are the humans who live alongside them. White Fang has to learn the brutal laws of nature and whether he can trust humans – or not. As the author of another great animal classic, Watership Down, Richard Adams explains the influence White Fang had on him.
This is a classic of all classics. Melvin Burgess has written an Introduction that will make the reader realise if they haven’t already that we, the human race, are on the cusp of changing nature and therefore the planet forever. The magical quality in The Call of the Wild lays in the story of Buck the ever-loyal dog to his master, who together lived a comfortable existence until Buck is kidnapped and forced to become a sledge dog in the frozen north. Experiencing violence and brutality, Buck’s natural wolf instincts begin to take over in the wilderness between man and beast. In this terrific pocket size Puffin edition there’s lots of additional material at the end of the book including an author profile, a guide to who’s who in The Call of the Wild plus many related activities to do beyond the book.
In 1894, an eighteen-year-old Jack London quit his job shoveling coal, hopped a freight train, and left California on the first leg of a ten thousand-mile odyssey. His adventure was an exaggerated version of the unemployed migrations made by millions of boys, men, and a few women during the original great depression of the 1890s. By taking to the road, young wayfarers like London forged a vast hobo subculture that was both a product of the new urban industrial order and a challenge to it. As London's experience suggests, this hobo world was born of equal parts desperation and fascination. I went on 'The Road,' he writes, because I couldn't keep away from it...because I was so made that I couldn't work all my life on 'one same shift'; because - well, just because it was easier to than not to. The best stories that London told about his hoboing days can be found in The Road , a collection of nine essays with accompanying illustrations, most of which originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine between 1907 and 1908. His virile persona spoke to white middle-class readers who vicariously escaped their desk-bound lives and followed London down the hobo trail. The zest and humor of his tales, as Todd DePastino explains in his lucid introduction, often obscure their depth and complexity. The Road is as much a commentary on London's disillusionment with wealth, celebrity, and the literary marketplace as it is a picaresque memoir of his youth.
Entertaining, atmospheric, and action-filled--yet difficult to obtain until now--the eight short stories in Jack London's A Son of the Sun center on the thrilling exploits of Captain David Grief in the dangerous and exotic South Seas.Captain Grief encounters the adventurers, scoundrels, pirates, and opportunists who followed the example of their colonial predecessors and exploited the islands and their resources early in the twentieth century. Inspired by London's own voyage through the South Seas on board his self-made yacht, the Snark, these stories paint a colorful--and at times horrifying--picture of the remote South Pacific. Thomas R. Tietze and Gary J. Riedl provide concise and illuminating introductions to each story as well as informative notes. The volume is enlivened by reproductions of London's own photographs and maps, and by the illustrations that accompanied each story when first published.
Teachers have found The Call of the Wild--from the very earliest days of its publication in 1903--to be a novella rich in instructional possibilities in history, geography, and ethics as well as literature. In this resource book for teachers, Daniel Dyer provides an array of activities--traditional and nontraditional--to accommodate a wide range of students, teachers, schools and communities.Dyer's instructional ideas will stimulate exploration of such subjects as California and Klondike history and geography; tranportation by rail, ferry, steamship, and dog teams; techniques of gold mining; breeds of dogs; and subarctic flora and fauna--as well as the novel's great literary themes.
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