Wednesday, June 12, 2013

James Oliver Curwood wrote of Northwest

It is the birthday of writer James Oliver Curwood (1878), whose bestselling 1920s novels told wilderness adventure tales of the Yukon, Alaska and the Great Northwest in the tradition of Jack London.  Among his best known books are Kazan (1914), The Grizzly King (1916), Baree, Son of Kazan (1917), The Courage of Marge O'Doone (1918), The Valley of Silent Men (1920), The Flaming Forest (1921), The Alaskan (1923), The Plains of Abraham (1928). Curwood's novels and short stories inspired at least 18 movies, including Back to God's Country (which was filmed three times – in 1919, 1927, and 1953), John Wayne's 1934 film The Trail Beyond and The Bear (1988), based on The Grizzly King. On a fishing trip to Florida in 1927, Curwood apparently was bitten by a spider and had an allergic reaction. He died a few months later from a resulting infection at his home in Owosso, Michigan.

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