Classic Author in the Spotlight!

I enjoy the classics. I have many classic books which are my favorites, it’s difficult to decide which one is my ultimate favorite or even make a top ten list! And I certainly have not read all the classics. As a result of my enjoyment for these oldies but goodies, I thought I would start a new blog post, the first day of every month and spotlight a classic author. I’ll see how it goes. So, without further ado ~

James Oliver Curwood

1878 – 1927

James was born in Owosso, Michigan and I was surprised to learn, he was the son of a cobbler! I thought that was interesting. He began to write stories when he was a child. When he was a teenager, a few of his stories were published, however, he wasn’t paid.

Gray Goose Magazine was the first publication to pay him for one of his stories. He received $5.00!

 He didn’t finish high school, however, he did pass the entrance exam and attended the University of Michigan where he studied journalism. He left college early and in 1900 he began working for the Detroit News-Tribune.

It looks to me like his first published book was, “The Courage of Marge O’Doone.” It was published in 1918.

The River’s End sold more than 100,000 copies in the first edition and his books were on the best seller list several times. I’ve read, The River’s End. I loved it! As a result of the sale of his books, he was able to travel to the great Northwest in 1909. He made many trips to Canada, the Yukon and Alaska and remained there for six months at a time.  Apparently he traveled with the Northwest Mounted Police also. I believe it! He describes the weather conditions and the geography of the land so well in his stories! It is not uncommon for Curwood to include a Mounted Police Officer as a character in his books.

In 1922, as a result of the money he made from his books, he built a castle in Owosso, Michigan. And, yes, I have been to the castle. My footsteps grace the floors. The castle is a replica of an 18th century Norman chateau. Apparently, building this castle was a childhood dream of his and the castle became his writing studio.

After an experience with a bear in the wild, he became a conservationist and was appointed to the Michigan Conservation Committee in 1927.

Curwood died from complications due to a spider bite.

His books seem difficult to find at times, however, you can find his stories at ~ http://www.gutenberg.org and http://www.LibriVox.org

Amazon also has his stories.

I have found his books in used bookstores, so you might want to check out used books stores in your area.

There is a considerable amount of information on line about Curwood. I tried to cover the basics. Enjoy!

http://www.en.wikipedia.org

http://www.shiawasseehistory.com

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2 thoughts on “Classic Author in the Spotlight!

  1. Thank you for this. Some of his books have come to my attention during the last few months and I didn’t know anything about him other than his name. How very interesting and his castle and wonderful that you’ve been able to visit it.

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