CBSE class 9 English Three Men in a Boat – Introduction

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The humorous travelogue ‘Three Men In A Boat ’ was written by an English writer and humorist, Jerome Klapka Jerome (2 May 1859-14 June 1927). The novel was published in 1889. It is a humorous account ‘of a boating holiday’on the river Thames between two famous places, Kingston and Oxford. Jerome initially wanted to write a ‘serious travel guide ’ giving glimpses of local history of places and towns that fall along the route. However, Jerome was basically a humorist. And the humorous elements so much dominated the descriptions that ‘Three Men In A Boat ’ turned out to be a fine comic novel. ‘The serious and somewhat sentimental passages ’seemed to be a distraction to the comic novel.

The book’s original purpose was to be a guidebook. The narrator describes all the passing landmarks and villages such as Hampton Court Palace, Monkey Island, Magna Carta Island, Marlow and Oxford. He also describes the historical importance of these places. The most frequent topics are river pastimes such as fishing, boating, cooking, drinking, camping and endless talking and gossiping. The writer frequently tells some very interesting anecdotes which are full of jokes which seem ‘fresh and witty ’, even today. The book was an instant success and remains popular with the readers even today.

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