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Gold Diggers

Striking It Rich in the Klondike

List Price: $18.95

August 23, 2011 | Paperback |  6 x 9, 432 Pages | ISBN 9781582437651
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“A lively, delightful reenactment of a signal era of ‘Klondike mythology.’” —Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

Between 1896 and 1899, thousands of people lured by gold braved a grueling journey into the remote wilderness of North America. Within two years, Dawson City, in the Canadian Yukon, grew from a mining camp of four hundred to a raucous town of more than thirty thousand. The stampede to the Klondike was the last great gold rush in history.

Scurvy, dysentery, frostbite, and starvation stalked all who dared to be in Dawson. And yet the possibilities attracted people from all walks of life. Gold Diggers is the remarkable story of the Klondike Gold Rush told through the lives of six very different people: the miner William Haskell; the saintly priest Father Judge; the savvy twenty-four-year-old businesswoman Belinda Mulrooney; the imperious British journalist Flora Shaw; spit-and-polish Sam Steele of the Mounties; and, most famous, the writer Jack London, who left without gold but with the stories that would make him a legend.

Brilliantly interweaving their experiences, Charlotte Gray presents a fascinating panorama of a subarctic town, drawing on letters, memoirs, newspaper articles, and stories and handsomely illustrated with more than sixty original photographs and maps.

CHARLOTTE GRAY is one of Canada’s preeminent biographers and historians. She is the author of several award-winning works of nonfiction, including Sisters in the Wilderness and Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention. She lives in Ottawa.


“No armchair rambler, the author has visited the territory, and this familiarity comes through in her descriptions of the beauty and terror of the landscape, her keen appreciation of the near-Arctic Circle climate, and her vivid depiction then and now of Dawson City… A lively, delightful reenactment of a signal era of ‘Klondike mythology.’” —Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

“Gray has hit pay dirt with this hardscrabble history, a vibrant, detailed recreation of the frenzied boomtown of Dawson City.” —Publishers Weekly

“A fascinating, rich account… Readers can only be grateful to such a skilled writer and historian as Charlotte Gray to let us go to, feel, smell and wonder at such an astonishing place as Dawson City during the ephemeral gold rush.” —The Globe and Mail

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