James Oliver Curwood, (1878 – 1927), was an American novelist and conservationist.
A great number of his works were turned into movies, several of which starred Nell Shipman as a brave and adventurous woman in the wilds of the north. Many films from Curwood's writings were made during his lifetime, as well as after his passing through to the 1950s. In 1988 French director Jean-Jacques Annaud used his 1916 novel, The Grizzly King to make the film The Bear. Annaud's success generated a renewed interest in Curwood's stories that resulted in five more films being produced in 1994 and 1995.
During the 1920s Curwood became one of America's best selling and most highly paid authors. This was the decade of his lasting classics The Valley of Silent Men (1920) and The Flaming Forest (1921). See links to these audios below.
About 19 movies were made from his books.
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1. The Alaskan - A wilderness story of adventure and intrigue in Alaska in the 1920’s.
2. The Country Beyond - The Country Beyond, subtitled A Romance In the Wilderness, is a story of “Jolly” Roger McKay, an outcast on the run from the law; Nada, the girl he falls in love with; and Peter, the devoted mixed-breed dog who links the two together as no human could, as action, adventure, and romance take them through the Northwest Canadian wilderness in search of The Country Beyond.
3. The Danger Trail - Chicago engineer Jack Howland is sent to the edge of the Canadian barren lands north of Prince Albert to establish a train route through some of the most treacherous terrain in North America. He would soon learn that it was not only the terrain that was forbidding, as he begins to understand why the previous engineers sent on the same mission had been forced to give up the task and flee back to the south. Mysterious visitors, suspicious characters, strange apparent coincidences, and one particularly mysterious girl meet Howland at every turn in this suspenseful tale of adventure, excitement, danger, and romance set in the northern Canadian wilderness.
4. The Flaming Forest - A tale of mystery, romance, and honor, as David Carrigan must choose between his duty as an officer of the law and a girl who holds him captive; a girl who Carrigan thinks he may have fallen in love with no less! Who is this strange girl Jean-Marie, and why won’t she give him his freedom? And who are the people that she surrounds herself with along the great Canadian rivers and wilderness barrens and forests of the northwest?
5. Flower of the North - Flower of the North finds Philip Whittemore on an adventure which takes him up the Churchill River of northern Canada to a land which he thought he knew. However, tucked in among the rocks and hills lies an unfamiliar outpost which he’s been told is called Fort o’ God whose inhabitants and history are shrouded in mystery. It is Jeanne D’Arcambal and her protector Pierre who have told him of this place, but there is so much which they haven’t told him, including who they really are, where they come from, and their clouded past.
6. The Golden Snare - With but two years of service in the RNMP Philip Raine finds himself somewhat unwillingly on the trail of Bram Johnson, wanted for murder and a wild, untamed and savage man who commands a pack of wolves as his brethren.
8. Honor of the Big Snow - What unseen force may have brought young Jan Thoreau and his music from out of the barren lands into the remote camp of Lac Bain, forever changing the lives of those few who lived there? What brought him to the home of John and Melisse Cummins as the latter lay on her death bed? Moreover, what was the great sorrow and overpowering sadness which permeated the life of the young man in the months and years following his arrival, and by what means was he to struggle with The Honor of the Big Snows?
9. Valley of the Silent Men - Subtitled: A Story of the Three River Country. James Kent has learned that he is terminally ill with perhaps only days to live, and so decides to confess to a murder and thus save an innocent man. Nobody believes his confession, particularly Marette, a mysterious girl who had shown up at Athabasca Landing only weeks before. Kent’s illness takes a turn and his death is postponed, and he sets about to find out more about the girl, who he ends up falling in love with, although she’ll not reveal her past to him, nor what she knows about the murder. A story of intrigue, suspense, action, and above all, a story of love in the furthest outreaches of the Great White North where three great rivers flow; the Athabasca, the Slave, and the McKenzie, and where somewhere is hidden The Valley of Silent Men.
10. The Gold Hunters - In The Gold Hunters we find 3 men in search of a treasure of gold hidden away in the upper reaches of the Canadian wilderness. One, a young white man, another his half breed friend, and the third the wise old Indian sage who communes with the wilderness as only his people have done through the generations. The 3 men know the gold is there, they had found the map which is leading them to it. Yet it seems that the map is leading them to places that don't exist, and each day finds a new adventure and new dangers which they must overcome if they are to achieve their reward.
11. Kazan - Kazan (sometimes published with the subtitle The Wolf Dog) is a once very popular novel by environmentalist and author James Oliver Curwood. After a trip to the Yukon area of Canada and Alaska, Curwood wrote a series of wilderness adventure novels that were best-sellers in the 1910’s and 1920’s and remained popular through mid century. Probably the most widely read of his novels during his lifetime was this engrossing tale of a magnificent animal that is part husky and part wolf. There is a struggle between the two breeds in Kazan’s makeup; he is torn between love for a particular man and woman and the desire to run free with the wolves, especially the one that he has chosen for his mate.
12. Bucky Severn (4th story in short story collection # 23)
13. The Mouse (1st story in short story collection # 24)
14. The Other Man's Wife (13th story in short story collection # 36)
15. Thomas Jefferson Brown (19th story in short story collecion # 35)
16. The Wolf Hunters - Follow Roderick and his friends Wabi and Mukoki on their adventures in the pristine North. They fight voracious wolves, hostile natives, and the vicious elements of nature, while on the hunt. Getting more than they bargained for, they discover a mysterious cabin, and stumble upon a secret that has lain hidden for half a century. Full of twists and turns, danger and suspense, The Wolf Hunters, the prequal to The Gold Hunters
17. Isobel - Novel takes place in northern Canada. Sergeant Billy MacVeigh of the Canadian Northwest Mounted, with his only partner Pelliter are the only official representatives in the lonely and desolate reaches of Point Fullerton, hundreds of miles from the next nearest outpost, and from any civilization. Both are nearing the end of their service in those regions, and their main function has been to try to find the elusive murderer Scottie Deane, and if they happen upon anybody trading in Eskimo women to haul them in also.
18. Nomads of the North - An unlikely pair were Neewa, the black bear cub who had been orphaned at a young age, and Miki, part Mackenzie hound, part Airedale and Spitz who had become separated from his master in the frozen reaches of northern Canada. But the two befriended one another, and these nomads fended for themselves until they too became separated in an unfortunate way. While Neewa searched for his friend, Miki was taken by northern trappers who felt he could be trained to become a good fighting dog, a valuable asset in the north. What follows is Miki's attempts to flee from his captors and search for his master, and Neewa's search for his canine friend.
19. The Haunted Woman - This adventurous story of a woman in peril begins "It was all new - most of it singularly dramatic and even appalling to the woman who sat with the pearl-gray veil drawn closely about her face. For eighteen hours she had been a keenly attentive, wide-eyed, and partly frightened bit of humanity in this onrush of "the horde." She had heard a voice behind her speak of it as "the horde" - a deep, thick, gruff voice which she knew without looking had filtered its way through a beard."
20. The Courage of Marge O'Doone - David Raine is traveling, trying to escape his own memories. On the train he meets Father Rolland, who invites him North, to a world of "mystery and savage glory", to help him find himself again. On the same train, he meets a mysterious woman searching for a man named Michael O'Doone. When she's gone, he finds a thin package on her seat. It contains the photograph of a girl and David makes it his aim to find her, while following Father Rolland into the mysterious North.