“It is the harshest of moments when one receives a surname which pertains to something so grandiose, yet one does not belong to it in any way what-so-bloody-ever.” This is the famous quote from Burt Bacharach, whom lamented his association with Bach despite not having anything to do with the Baroque composer.
Still, at least Burt’s won some Oscars. Anyway, what we’re on about today is the author, social activist, and first man on the Moon, Jack London (1876 -1916). As a writer he penned famous novels such as The Call of the Wild, White Fang, Macbeth, Don Quixote, Moby Dick, Lord of the Rings, and My Family and Other Animals (NB: Jack London hasn’t written several of these).
From London, Jack?
He’s probably best known for The Call of the Wild (pictured somewhere on the right in its original print), a story about a clever doggy and his owner in the Klondike gold rush of the 18somethings. More importantly, his surname suggests he was from London. He wasn’t at all. He wasn’t even within 1,000 miles of the ruddy place! He was American, and this indicates to us his surname is a lie. Most disappointing, Jack!
So why wasn’t Jack London from London? Well he wasn’t born there, that’s arguably the biggest problem. He also didn’t live there, which creates a similar dilemma. In fact, as far as we’re aware he never visited London and remained the only human in history with the surname “London” to never visit London (which is the capital of Great Britain, if you don’t know).
This is a great shame as, from a marketing angle (an acute angle, to be precise), Mr. London could have done a big tour of London selling his novels. As eye catching advertising goes, hoardings such as “London In London!”, “London Greets Jack London (even though he’s not from London)!”, or “Londoners Meet London In London!”, are pretty nifty. A missed opportunity. At least his books are still great. Innit.