One hundred years ago, a shy bank clerk sent a collection of his poems south from the Yukon to be privately published and shared with a small group of friends. Fate intervened, however, and Robert Service, Sam McGee and Dan McGrew became household names across North America and throughout the British Commonwealth.
Service spent the decade prior to the First World War sating his wanderlust by travelling across North America. His adventures included a trip that ranks as one of the great northern river journeys of his era. He went to Europe and served in the war in many capacities. He lived much of his life in France with his wife and daughter; they spent the Second World War in North America, summering in Vancouver, BC, and wintering in the Los Angeles area. An intensely private man, Service remained an enigmatic character until his passing in 1958.
Enid Mallory's Robert Service: Under the Spell of the Yukon celebrates the centennial of the poet's first book of verse by shedding new light on the life and career of this intriguing man. Service will always be Canada's "Bard of the Yukon" and Alaska's de facto Poet Laureate, just as he is part of the lives of an estimated 3 million readers who know that "there are strange things done in the Midnight Sun . . . "