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James Oliver Curwood : God's country and the man

Author: Judith A Eldridge
Publisher: Bowling Green, OH : Bowling Green State University Popular Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
When the wounded bear he faced on a mountain ledge that day turned aside, James Oliver Curwood's relief was that his life had been spared. More than that resulted from this encounter; his life was profoundly altered. Curwood was 35 that summer of 1914, and already a well-known author of Great Lakes fiction and non-fiction and novels of romance and adventure set in the Canadian north.
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Genre/Form: Biography
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: James Oliver Curwood; James Oliver Curwood; James Oliver Curwood; James Oliver Curwood
Material Type: Biography, Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Judith A Eldridge
ISBN: 0879726040 9780879726041 0879726059 9780879726058
OCLC Number: 28088008
Description: 232 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Judith A. Eldridge.
More information:

Abstract:

When the wounded bear he faced on a mountain ledge that day turned aside, James Oliver Curwood's relief was that his life had been spared. More than that resulted from this encounter; his life was profoundly altered. Curwood was 35 that summer of 1914, and already a well-known author of Great Lakes fiction and non-fiction and novels of romance and adventure set in the Canadian north.

Now he would become an avid conservationist in the early days of that movement, a change that would lead indirectly to his death 13 years later.

Curwood and his beautiful second wife, Ethel, were on a hunting and exploring trip in the British Columbia mountains when he wounded the bear - and met it later with a broken gun in his hands. He came down from the mountain ledge with a new respect for the animals he had once hunted ruthlessly. The book The Grizzly King became the second of his four books about nature, and figured strongly in his slim volume of personal essays. "A nature loving man," he called himself.

In the meantime, however, he wrote relentlessly - magazine stories and books and then for the new medium of motion pictures. Like many authors of his day, he was, for a time, actively involved in moviemaking, until the plight of the forests and wildlife in his home state of Michigan turned his energies toward conservation.

Egotistical, dedicated, sometimes arrogant and pompous, Curwood was a complex man who liked simple things. He dined with the famous and influential and traveled in Europe, but he much preferred "fish picnics" with his family. He was both tight-fisted and generous, demanding and humble, reverential toward women and yet considered a "womanizer," a thoroughly misunderstood man, especially in his hometown.

A man ahead of his time, and quickly forgotten after his death in 1927, his gift of himself to his readers and to nature has finally come to he appreciated again two generations later.

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Early twentieth-century readers devoured James Oliver Curwood's tales of America's rugged, untamed north. Creator of the half-wolf Kazan and the grizzly bear Thor (in the novel that later inspired Read more...

 
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