LONE WOLF by Arthur Calder Marshall


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Of the two biographies, Lone Wolf is more complete, a blow-by-blow from birth to death. However, the Franchere work is more obviously slanted toward children, highlighting as it does, the young, searching and struggling personality of the author, and playing down or entirely the dark, subterranean battles with alcohol, sickness and despair, the compulsion to spend money toward the end, and marital troubles. (The story begins when Jack is back in Oakland, his oyster-pirating days behind him.) In Jack London there are many ""kitchen conversations"" between Jack and his mother and sister which are, of course, composed from thin air, but which neatly embellish the turmoil and strain this incredible young men must have felt as he drove himself up and away from the treadmill of poverty, early mistakes and social abuses (this was an era when eight-year-old children worked long hours in the factories.) This was a young man who did come home again, and fought his way to an education so that he might pound out untidy, great and muscular novels to an eager public. Miss Franchere has apparently had many conversations with London's daughter (who, however, saw her father very little) and used the biography written by Charmain London as a source. A warm, informal, ""family"" feeling seems to have developed in this biography...Mr. Calder-Marshall's work is based on the Charmain London biography and on the biography by Irving Stone, Beggar on Horseback. The writing is terse, efficient, competently researched, and directed to mid-teens and senior high school readers. The Franchere book be used from junior high up.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1962
Publisher: Duell, Sloan and Pearce