Jack London got a lot more than he bargained for when he set sail for the Yukon in 1897. It was the height of the Klondike Gold Rush and the Californian had big dreams of striking it rich in Dawson City. The epicentre of the gold rush, this was the place where fortunes were made, lost, and made again.
Alas, Jack did not strike it rich in the Klondike. He returned home with empty pockets. But his head was filled with the stories and rich details of the region that would later inspire his most famous novels, The Call of the Wild and White Fang. Not too shabby for a failed prospecting adventure.
A lasting legacy
Jack London’s life and work have been immortalized at the Jack London Museum in Dawson City. Visitors are treated to a peek inside his Yukon home, where his adventures are captured in photographs and historical archives.
Suffice it to say that the breathtaking Yukon landscape and the harsh realities of frontier life left their mark on the American–and ultimately, his readers. His stories are well-loved and have seen several film adaptations. In fact, the latest remake of The Call of the Wild is a 2020 release in cinemas.