In the history of English literature Jerome K. Jerome occupies a modest place. He cannot be compared with Dickens, Thackeray, or Bernard Shaw, but he is well known as a writer-humorist not only in his country but in another countries too.
Jerome Klapka Jerome was born in England on May 2, 1859 into the family of ruined businessman. Jerome’s childhood was poor and sad. He could not finish school because his father died in 1871 and the boy had to begin working to support his family. First he worked as a clerk. Later he took up teaching journalism and acting. For three years he was an actor and had to play different parts. He had very little money and often went hungry and had no place to sleep. In his free moments Jerome tried to write. He wrote plays, stories and articles, but nothing was published.
His first literary success was a one-act comedy which was performed in the Globe theatre in London in 1886.
In 1889 a collection of his articles was published. They were published as a book under the title The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow. This book became very popular in England, and it was published 105 times in 4 years. In 1889 Jerome’s best book Three Men in a Boat also came out.
The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow and Three Men in a Boat made the author famous. The books were translated into many European languages. In the following years Jerome published several books and plays. He went travelling all over Europe and in 1899 he visited St. Petersburg, where he was met with enthusiasm. He knew Russian literature very well.
Jerome K. Jerome also wrote serious books, but the public didn’t like them.
He criticized German imperialism and the policy of Britain in China.
Jerome’s last book was his autobiography My Life and Time. He died in 1927. The works of Jerome are full of humour and they can’t but amuse the reader.