In 2018, I reviewed THE SECRET LIFE OF MRS LONDON and was so impressed by the writing and content. I didn’t really know anything about Jack London besides the fact that he wrote THE CALL OF THE WILD and WHITE FANG.
I knew even less about Houdini. I was intrigued by how this book was actually going to come together because a literary giant and a magician in the midst of a love triangle seems totally weird and random but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and even though this book was a novelization and historical fiction, there was plenty of historical facts to keep historians interested.
Today is Jack London’s birthday and on this special day and to celebrate, the author of THE SECRET LIFE OF MRS LONDON, Rebecca Rosenberg, wrote a wonderful excerpt about the dynamics of this love triangle.
How can Jack London have a movie coming out this year when he’s 103 years old on his birthday January 12!
THE SECRET LIFE OF MRS. LONDON, the love triangle between Houdini, Jack London and his wife, Charmian. Now FREE on kindle unlimited and Prime!
Young Jack London married Charmian Kittredge, his editor, typist, manager and muse in 1905. In the next ten years they wrote fifty best-selling novels, Call of the Wild, Sea Wolf, Valley of the Moon, Martin Eden, Star Rover, John Barleycorn. Call of the Wild is being made into a movie starring Harrison Ford out Christmas Day 2019!
Jack dictated his stories while Charmian types and edited them as he spoke. They were forging a different marriage of equality and respect. Instead of sweetheart, they called each other “Mate”. But the bottomless love between them was recorded for all time in their novels and Jack’s inscriptions to Charmian. So why did she have an affair with Houdini?
10 Jack London novel inscriptions to his wife Charmian.
- “Dearest Mate-Women, whose efficient hands I love. The hands that have worked for me for so many hours… swiftly and deftly and beautifully in the making of music and the rough seas, that do not tremble on a trigger, that are strong on the reins of an untamed Marquesan stallion. The hands that are sweet as they pass through my hair, firm with comradeship as they grip mine, and soothe as only they of all hands in the world can soothe.” The Road, 1907
- “And soon we will sail our own cruise of The Snark, and we shall be mates around the whole round world.” The Cruise of the Dazzler, 1902
- “You know. You have helped me bury the ‘Long Sickness’ and the ‘White Logic.’ John Barleycorn, 1913
- “We, too, have made this voyage together, known the winter North Atlantic… and the Great West Wind off the Horn. And we ‘made westing’, as we have made westing all the years since we first loved.” The Mutiny of the Elsinore, 1913
- “This is our “Book of Love” here in our Valley of the Moon, where we have known our love since that day you rode with me to the divide of the Napa hills. Ay, and before that, before that.” The Valley of the Moon, 1913
- “The years slide together in a long backward trail, and yet you and I remain, welded with our arms about each other, unafraid of any future.” The Night Born, 1913
- “…I find but one vindication for living, one bribe for living, and that vindication is you. The bribe is you.” The Abysmal Brute, 1913
- “I am still filled with the joy of your voice that was mine last night when you sang. There are fibersounds in your throat… that I love as madly as I have always loved the rest of you.” Smoke Bellow, 1912.
- “After it all, and it all, and it all, here we are, all in all, all in all. Turtles of Tasman, 1916
- “The years pass. You and I pass. But yet our love abides more firmly, more deeply, more surely, for we have built our love for each other, not upon sand, but upon rock.” Little Lady of the Big House, 1916.
THE SECRET OF MRS. LONDON, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072KRP7MN
Free on kindle unlimited and Prime reading!
About the book and links to buy
2018 BEST NEW NOVEL nominee, Center for Fiction.
Historical fiction Houdini-London love triangle
www.goodreads.com San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.
As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.
PRAISE FOR THE SECRET OF MRS. LONDON
From Victoria Kelly, MRS. HOUDINI, THE NOVEL
The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a heart-wrenching portrait of a marriage between two people who utterly depend on one another, but ultimately aren’t enough for each other. With skillful precision of language, Rosenberg weaves a narrative that defines the complexities of love, passion and art. This is a perceptive, deeply moving novel by a great new talent about a couple who has gone unnoticed in historical fiction until now. Anyone who has ever loved another person will want to read this book.
From John Cox, WILD ABOUT HOUDINI
One of Houdini’s best kept secrets was his affair with Charmian London in 1918. Now Rebecca Rosenberg tells the story using an elegant blend of fact and fiction, creating a Houdini book like no other. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a true peek behind the curtain and a page-turner. –John Cox, wildabouthoudini.com
From Malena Watrous, SPARKED, IF YOU FOLLOW ME
The SECRET LIFE of MRS. LONDON is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the marriage of Jack and Charmain London, both fascinating and complicated characters with rich inner lives that Rosenberg conveys in crisp yet poetic prose. This contemporary historical fiction raises questions that are still relevant today about what makes a good marriage, and whether creativity and stability are incompatible. A rich, resonant, deeply satisfying novel sure to delight and leave readers thinking long after they put it down.