Glittering Goldie appeared in only one story by Barks, she has
made a lasting imprint on most of us. Certainly on Uncle Scrooge
who seems to have had a soft spot for the golddigger all of his
life. And on her creator Carl Barks, who went on to immortalize
her through a number of paintings. What qualities does
she have to make her so memorable? Let's have a look!
is having trouble with his bad memory but after a
visit to the doctor he recalls a huge gold nugget
he once left behind in Alaska. Along with Donald
and the nephews he travels to the Yukon
area. They arrive in Dawson where Scrooge met
Goldie, the Star of the North, for the first time
all those years ago, and he tells about the
nugget that she swindled from him.
The journey continues until they reach his old hut and to their
surprise it is occupied. The occupant forcibly
resists their attempts to approach. Finally the
nephews manage to disarm the old lady behind the
attack - Goldie herself. As Scrooge and Goldie
meet again he demands satisfaction. She gives her
last jewelry to Scrooge and leaves, apparently
quitting. Then Scrooge calls her back and
challenges her to a contest.
contest of who can find gold first. Goldie
succeeds in finding Scrooge's old cargo which is
now worth a fortune. Scrooge leaves - seemingly
defeated - and pretending that because he hadn't
taken his memory pills he had forgotten where the
gold was. But behind his back Donald reveals to
his nephews that Scrooge had indeed taken the
pills and had therefore given the gold to Goldie.
By the end his nephews realize that the old
gentleman is more emotional than he would like to
It is plain to see that
Scrooge has a soft spot for Goldie. But Barks
never implied that she was waiting for him. Quite
the contrary, he showed a resilient woman who
lived on her own in a woodland valley for decades,
supporting herself through her own labor, and
even raising the orphans of mining disasters.
Goldie embraces her femininity and acknowledges
her beauty, but only on her own terms. She will
not let herself be manipulated by others. In fact,
she clings to her independence so stubbornly that
she refuses to acknowledge her heart softening
toward Scrooge - who in turn is equally stubborn
in denying his attraction to her. Theirs is a
poignant romance between equally strong
Barks received a
lot of criticism for the story, because it
involved different taboos. A half-page panel
showing a barroom brawl was too violent and
Glittering Goldie showed an unbecoming greed for
gold. Furthermore, Scrooge also kidnapped the
girl, made her live in his shed and
forced her to work at his claim. Because
they lived together in the small hut for many
weeks, there is a suggestion that the two might
have been lovers. The flashback sequences
can be interpreted with either platonic or erotic
after the censors brought it to his attention did
Barks realize how questionable the sequences were:
Scrooge picked her up and carried her out to
his claim and made her go to work. It didn't look
like kidnapping, yet it was. He was taking the
law into his own hands and that is not lawful.
And what did he do with her at night? I had
really overstepped the bounds, and I realized it
when the editors cut the sequence out.
The censored panels (5½
pages) remained cut from both the original and
the reprints until the 1982 publication of the
book Uncle Scrooge McDuck: His Life &
Similar nugget of the same goose egg shape.
to run across photographer Ethel Anderson Becker's
1949 book about the Yukon gold rush of 1898. As
he researched the event, Barks read about the
dance-hall girls and others left behind when the
boomtowns dried up. This led him to wonder what
happened to the people who failed to strike it
rich. He consciously painted the modern, aged
Goldie as a sympathetic character to give a face
to these forgotten figures of the gold rush.
The book also contained a photograph of a 2,180
gr. egg-shaped gold nugget which further inspired
Barks to a detail in the plot - a Goose Egg
Nugget. The motif was also used in a painting
from 1996 titled Eureka! A Goose Egg
It is interesting that Barks used
real geographical names and real locations
in his adventure. This adds a new dimension so
that we feel we are tagging along with the ducks.
The towns of Dawson, Whitehorse, and Skagway and
the Yukon and Klondike Rivers are real. As is the
menacing Chillcoot Pass that meant suffering
and death to many prospectors.
Chillcoot Pass at the time of the gold rush.
An endless line of prospectors are climbing the
Ursus Americanus AKA the Baribal Bear AKA the
Blackjack is most probably a Black Bear. The name
is not at all exact, because Black Bears can be
different colours; they are often brown. It is a
common animal in the American national parks.
Although they may appear to be friendly, visitors
are warned against feeding them or approaching
them, because they will attack if they feel
threatened. As a curiosity it can be mentioned
that the Royal Danish Life-Guard to the Queen and
the Guard in Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens only
wear bearskin caps from the Black Bear.
The song 'After the Ball' that
Goldie performed every night in her saloon, was
carefully chosen by Barks. It was a real song
with melody and lyrics by Charles K. Harris from
1892 and it became a gigantic hit. Harris sold
more than 5 million copies of the sheet music.
The lyrics are about an old man who never married
and who is remembering a girl he could have
married but never did. In the song it is because
of a misunderstanding, but the stubbornness of
the man is very much the same as Scrooge's.
Harris was the first songwriter to have a
multimillion seller song.
...and Goldie lingers on. Several
duck artists such as Don Rosa, Vicar, Rota and Scarpa
have used her repeatedly. She was also a recurring
character in Disney's television series Ducktales. She
will not be forgotten...