Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
Three Men in a Boat is a comic novel written by Jerome K. Jerome. This essay is a brief look at the author, the plot, the characters, and a brief analysis of the book.
Jerome K. Jerome was born in Stafford shire in 1859, brought up in London, and left grammar school at 14. As a youth and in adolescent, he worked as a railway clerk, an actor, a freelance journalist, a private secretary, a purchasing agent, a parliamentary agent, and a solicitor’s clerk. In 1889, when Three Men in a Boat was published, he had only freshly become successful as a journalist and author. Though a relaxed, urbane man, Jerome was a persistent explorer of new ideas and experiences. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, was a pioneer of skiing in the Alps and visited Russia and America several times. He was a prolific writer whose work has been translated into numerous foreign languages, but as Jerome himself said: ‘It is as the author of ‘Three Men in a Boat’ that the public persists in remembering me.’
The novel, Three Men in a Boat tells the story of a holiday taken by three bachelors (and a dog), rowing a boat up the Thames from Kingston to Oxford and is part commentary on the absurd misadventures that was part of the trip and part parody of Victorian travelogues. It is the second aspect, which has dated; modern travel writers tend not to be as rhapsodic as the mid Victorians, neither they so determined to perk up the minds of their readers. This makes them less easy targets. A parodic element that has dated better is the way in which “J.” (The narrator) repeatedly derives silly lessons about how to live life from their familiarity.
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