Jack London on "Call of the Wild" and Alleged Jewish Ancestry

August 8, 1905

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Jack London on "Call of the Wild" and Alleged Jewish Ancestry
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 719

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      Responding to a fan and possible relative, London declares that he is glad she liked his Call of the Wild; he hopes, in fact, “some day to write another dog-story.” About what appears to be a shared surname, he notes that “London is a very common name among the Jews,” and he has “often been approached by them in an effort to establish relationship.” He lists “Londons” he has heard from in this connection, but his people – like hers – come from Connecticut. “I guess,” he ends, “We are distant relatives, you and I.”


      Typed Letter Signed, 1 page, quarto, Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, California. August 8, 1905. With one autograph correction. To Esther L. Margan.
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      Jack London
      Glen Ellen
      Sonoma Co., Cal.
      Aug 8 1905

      My dear Esther L.[ ]Margan:

      Your letter just received.  Maybe we belong to the same branch of the Londons.  Shortly after Braddock's defeat my father's people moved from Cape May, New Jersey, into Pennsylvania.  They had come from Connecticut from to Cape May, so they were evidently Connecticut Londons.  But ever since that time they have kept coming West, and have been busy forgetting the details of their ancestry.

      I am glad you like my "CALL OF THE WILD."  I hope some day to write another dog-story.

      London is a very common name among the Jews, and I have often been approached by them in an effort to establish relationship with me.  I have received at times letters from the following Londons:

      Mrs.[ ]Charles London, Box 201 Westbrook, Maine; Mrs.[ ]Mary A.J.[ ]Wilson (maiden name London), Box 33, Peckville Lakawanna Co., Pa.; William London, Valier, Pa.

      Seeing that you are in Connecticut, and that my people came originally from Connecticut, I guess we are distant relatives, you and I.

      Sincerely yours,

      JACK LONDON