Concept

Robert W. Service

Summary
Robert William Service (16 January 1874 – 11 September 1958) was a British-Canadian poet and writer, often called "the Bard of the Yukon". Born in Lancashire of Scottish descent, he was a bank clerk by trade, but spent long periods travelling in the west in the United States and Canada, often in poverty. When his bank sent him to the Yukon, he was inspired by tales of the Klondike Gold Rush, and wrote two poems, "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee", which showed remarkable authenticity from an author with no experience of the gold rush or mining, and enjoyed immediate popularity. Encouraged by this, he quickly wrote more poems on the same theme, which were published as Songs of a Sourdough (re-titled The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses in the U.S.), and achieved a massive sale. When his next collection, Ballads of a Cheechako, proved equally successful, Service could afford to travel widely and live a leisurely life, basing himself in Paris and the French R
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