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"Three men in a boat" by Jerome K. Jerome

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (783 words)
Categories: ,Literature,Novels
Downloads: 29
Views: 296

It is the novel about three good friends Jeorge, Harry, Jerome and the dog Montmorency. They chooses to have a trip to an island as they are tired due to overwork.

3 Guy in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), [Note 1] published in 1889, is a funny account by English writer Jerome K. Jerome of a boating holiday on the Thames in between Kingston and Oxford.

The book was initially planned to be a serious travel guide, [1] with accounts of regional history along the route, but the amusing components took over to the point where the severe and rather sentimental passages seem a diversion to the comic novel.

One of the most applauded things about Three Guy in a Boat is how undated it appears to modern-day readers– the jokes seem fresh and amusing even today. [2]
The three guys are based on Jerome himself (the narrator J.) and two real-life friends, George Wingrave (who would become a senior supervisor in Barclays Bank) and Carl Hentschel (the founder of a London printing company, called Harris in the book), with whom he often took boating trips.

The canine, Montmorency, is entirely imaginary [1] but, “as Jerome confesses, established out of that area of inner awareness which, in all Englishmen, consists of a component of the canine.” [2] The journey is a normal boating holiday of the time in a Thames camping skiff. [Note 2] This was just after industrial boat traffic on the Upper Thames had actually died out, replaced by the 1880s craze for boating as a leisure activity.

Due to the fact that of the overwhelming success of Three Men in a Boat, Jerome later released a sequel, about a cycling tour in Germany, entitled Three Men on the Bummel.

A similar book was published 7 years before Jerome’s work, entitled 3 in Norway (by 2 of them) by J. A. Lees and W. J. Clutterbuck. It informs of three guys on an exploration into the wild Jotunheimen in Norway.


The story begins by introducing George, Harris, Jerome and Montmorency, a fox terrier. The men are spending an evening in J.’s room, smoking and discussing illnesses they fancy they suffer from. They conclude they are all suffering from ‘overwork’ and need a holiday. A stay in the country and a sea trip are both considered, then rejected after J. describes the bad experiences had by his brother-in-law and a friend on sea trips. The three decide on a boating holiday up the River Thames, from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford, during which they will camp, notwithstanding Jerome’s anecdotes about previous experiences with tents and camping stoves.

They set off the following Saturday. George must go to work that morning (“George goes to sleep at a bank from ten to four each day, except Saturdays, when they wake him up and put him outside at two”), so J. and Harris make their way to Kingston by train. They are unable to find the correct train at Waterloo Station (the station’s confusing layout was a well-known theme of Victorian comedy) so they bribe a train driver to take his train to Kingston, where they collect the hired boat and start the journey. They meet George up-river at Weybridge.

The remainder of the story describes their river journey and the incidents that occur. The book’s original purpose as a guidebook is apparent as Jerome, the narrator, describes passing landmarks and villages such as Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Church,Monkey Island, Magna Carta Island and Marlow, and muses on historical associations of these places. However, he frequently digresses into humorous anecdotes that range from the unreliability of barometers for weather forecasting to the difficulties encountered when learning to play the Scottish bagpipe. The most frequent topics of J’s anecdotes are river pastimes such as fishing and boating and the difficulties they presented to those who were inexperienced and unwary and to the three men on previous boating trips.

The book includes classic comedy set-pieces, such as the story of two drunken men who slide into the same bed in the dark, theplaster of paris trout in chapter 17 and the “Irish stew” in chapter 14 – made by mixing most of the leftovers in the party’s foodhamper:

I forget the other ingredients, but I know nothing was wasted; and I remember that, towards the end, Montmorency, who had evinced great interest in the proceedings throughout, strolled away with an earnest and thoughtful air, reappearing, a few minutes afterwards, with a dead water-rat in his mouth, which he evidently wished to present as his contribution to the dinner; whether in a sarcastic spirit, or with a genuine desire to assist, I cannot say.

Cite this essay

“Three men in a boat” by Jerome K. Jerome. (2016, Apr 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/three-men-in-a-boat-by-jerome-k-jerome-essay

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