Klondike … Tales of a Gold Rush …

Everything about the Klondike Gold Rush seems over-the-top and inflated. But I don’t believe it is. Gold Fever and the infamous history of gold strikes on a world-wide scale tell the same tale – of what men will do in the quest for the yellow metal – be it the Transvaal, California or from Kalgoorlie to the Klondike, it’s a history written in blood and lust. Few are tales of success – mostly of tragedy, failure and broken dreams – and incredible exploits. And surely great fodder for Western lore and Film.

A number of excellent and readable books have emerged over the years. One such book is that written by the eminent Canadian author Pierre Berton:

The Last Great Gold Rush 1896-1899. 

klondike pierre berton

I single Berton’s book out not just because it is excellent, but because he was born in Whitehorse, Yukon. The Klondike was his back yard. Who better to write the definitive book on it’s History?

Pierre Berton 2

dawson chilkoot klondike

Author: jcalberta

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10 thoughts on “Klondike … Tales of a Gold Rush …”

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      Berton had a special and deep interest in the Klondike – having been born in Whitehorse, Yukon in 1920. He was a good writer and researcher though at times we wonder if things aren’t embellished a bit. Yet as they say ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ – and when it comes to men and gold, pretty well anything is possible.
      Thank you for those links. I’ll check ’em out.

  1. Have you tried the book ‘The Floor of Heaven’? Another well written choice about the Klondike. AWESOME post. A most interesting read. I just started the series (taped it) and understand it must seem like a Western soap opera. But I do believe that lunacy did happen up there.

    1. Thank you very much for that Cindy. I’ll check that out. I know there are several good books on the subject. Frankly, it’s almost a fluke that I have read Berton’s book – though I enjoyed it, It was the only book of his that I read and it was a LONG time ago that I read it. Hope it’s as good as I remember.
      “Lunacy”?! I bet we don’t know half of it. Gold Fever is a form of insanity it seems.

    1. You are so right. One guy was so supposed to have gotten so rich that he ate off gold plates, but I believe he died penniless. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

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