In his review, Roper mentioned London’s short story “To a Man on the Trail” and a main character who stood “six feet two or three, with proportionate breadth of shoulders . . .” Curiously, the highly-talented but medium-statured (5 feet 9 inches but strong and well-proportioned) London may have yearned to have been taller than he was in real life.
During the Klondike gold rush of 1897-98, the 21-year-old and muscular London packed heavy loads on his back over the high Chilkoot or White Pass and then studied philosophy books while snowbound in a cabin.
One day, while on a San Francisco ferryboat (and with overtones of the physically strong and talented artist Leonardo da Vinci, who was raised in his titled and real father’s house but didn’t really know his servant-girl mother), London reportedly saw his real father and discovered him to be muscular and of short stature.
KENNETH LLOYD LARSON