Ninety years after the death of its author, Jerome K Jerome’s ever-popular Three Men in a Boat is taken down from the shelf and the dust blown from its pages to reveal surprising facts and stories.
John Llewellyn’s debut book explores the life and work of author Jerome K Jerome, exposing the fascinating stories that lay behind his famous comic travelogue, Three Men in a Boat. Jerome’s archetypal Englishman, Harris, was a Russian by birth and came from a family of Eastern European immigrants. The character of George, depicted as a lazy bank clerk, was in fact reported to his bosses at the London South Western Bank. And Jerome himself might have been known to us simply as Jerome Clapp if his father had not been forced to change the family name as a result of a scandal. Within the dark corners of the book lurk female victims of murder, suicide and accidents, a poignant account of the last days of a drowned woman and a notorious murder case that was closer to home that many of Jerome’s readers may have realised.
Three Men Went to Row follows the structure of Jerome’s original work, travelling from Bloomsbury and up the Thames to Oxford. John hopes to encourage his readers to cherish the river, known as Jerome’s ‘golden fairy stream’, through his book in which we can visit places barred to us today by modern development. Inspired by the work of Jerome K Jerome and Bill Bryson, Three Men Went to Row is a must-read for all lovers of the Thames, from Jerome enthusiasts to boaters and riverside walkers. It contains original research, colour plates and new line drawings, and the first full published account of how Jerome came to acquire his memorable name.