Captain Alex MacLean: Jack London's Sea Wolf

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9780774814720: Captain Alex MacLean: Jack London's Sea Wolf
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Alex MacLean was the inspiration for the title character, Wolf Larsen, in Jack London’s bestselling novel, The Sea-Wolf. Originally from Cape Breton, MacLean sailed to the Pacific side of North America when he was just twenty-one and worked there for thirty-five years as a sailor and sealer. His achievements and escapades while in the Victoria fleet in the 1880s laid the foundation for his status as a folk hero.

Although MacLean is a colourful character both in his own right and as mythologized by London, his biography reveals more than the construction of a legend. Don MacGillivray opens a window onto the complex world of pelagic sealing in the North Pacific. The sealing dispute brought the United States and Britain to the brink of war, with Canadian sealing interests frequently enmeshed in espionage, scientific debate, diplomatic negotiations, and vexing questions of maritime and environmental law. This vivid account brings history into focus.

MacLean’s story will appeal to maritime historians, historians of the Pacific Northwest, and readers interested in the history of sealing, international relations, and environmental politics. It will also appeal to readers interested in this fascinating character, both in his own right and as mythologized by Jack London.

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Book Description:

Sealing wars and maritime history are brought into focus in this vivid account of the life of the Alex MacLean, the inspiration for Jack London's Sea-Wolf.

About the Author:

Don MacGillivray is a professor of history at Cape Breton University.

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9780774814713: Captain Alex MacLean: Jack London's Sea Wolf

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Publisher: UBC Press, 2008
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