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"Through the South Seas with Jack London" by Martin Johnson

mercredi 12 décembre 2018, par Martin Johnson

At the peak of his writing career in 1906, after having written much of his most outstanding work [1], Jack London decided – very much encouraged by his wife Charmian London [2] – to build the sturdy little 45-foot (13.7 meters) two-masted schooner The Snark [3] and to embark with his small crew of 6, including himself and Charmian, on a trip around the world that was intended to last a full seven years [4].

One of the best-known writers in the world by this time, he had made it known through newspaper interviews that he was looking for volunteers to join the crew, and this account of the very adventurous – and dangerous – voyage of the small yacht to Hawaii and then throughout the south Pacific on an extensive visit of the myriad South Sea islands was written by a young 20-year-old who had successfully applied for the job as cook.

Martin Johnson was also a keen photographer and his lively account of that fascinating expedition contained many extraordinary photos of a bygone world of remote aboriginal peoples that have practically disappeared from the face of the earth since.

(97,000 words)

An e-book, with all of the photos, is available for downloading below.

Through the South Seas with Jack London (e-book)

[1such as the short stories The White Silence, The Law of Life, The League of the Old Men and many others ; the novelettes All Gold Canyon and The Sun-Dog Trail ; the best-selling novella The Call of the Wild that had gained him world-wide fame ; his highly-successful novels The Sea Wolf and White Fang and his sociological study The People of the Abyss.

[2in her memoir The Book of Jack London (1921), Charmian London recounts that in 1905 Jack had planned to undertake a seven-year tour of the world in five years’ time, and that she convinced him to do so as soon as possible.
Could it be that she wanted him all to herself ?

[3named after Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Snark.

[4in fact it lasted two years, from from April 1907 until March 1909, when the tour was abandoned in Australia after Jack London had contracted a mysterious and very severe tropical skin disease that prevented him from writing.