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Jerome K. Jerome

 

Date Born: 5/2/1859
Place of Birth: Walsall, England

Date Died: 6/14/0
Place of Death: Walsall, England


Jerome Klapka Jerome (May 2, 1859–June 14, 1927) was an English author, best known for the humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat. He was born at 1 Caldmore Road, on the corner of Bradford Street in Walsall, where there is now a museum in his honour, and brought up in poverty in London.

Other works include the essay collections Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow and Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow; Three Men on the Bummel, a sequel to Three Men in a Boat; and several other novels.

Jerome was the fourth child of Jerome Clapp Jerome, a lay preacher who dabbled in architecture, and Marguerite Jones. He had two sisters and one brother. Due to bad investments in the local mining industry, the family suffered poverty, and debt collectors often visited, an experience Jerome described vividly in his autobiography My Life and Times. The young Jerome wished to go into politics or be a man of letters, but the death of both his parents in 1872, when he was 13 years old, forced him to quit his studies and find work to support himself. He was employed at the London and North Western Railway, initially collecting coal that fell along the railway, and remained there for four years.

In 1877, inspired by his older sister Blandina’s love for the theatre, Jerome had decided to try his hand at acting, under the stage name Harold Crichton. He joined a repertory troupe who tried to produce plays on a shoestring budget, often drawing on the meager resources of the actors themselves to purchase costumes and props. Jerome had later comically reflected on this period in On the Stage—and Off, where it is apparent that he was penniless at the time. After three years on the road and with no evident success, a 21 year old Jerome decided he had had enough with stage life, and sought other occupations. He tried to become a journalist, writing essays, satires and short stories, but most of these were rejected. Over the next few years he was a school teacher, a packer, and a solicitor’s clerk. Finally, in 1885, he had some success with On the Stage—and Off, a humorous book which publication had opened the door for more plays and essays. Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, a collection of humorous essays, followed in 1886. On June 21, 1888, Jerome married Georgina Elizabeth Henrietta Stanley Marris (a.k.a. Ettie), nine days after she had divorced her first husband. She had a daughter from a previous, five-year marriage, nicknamed Elsie (her actual name was also Georgina). The honeymoon took place on the Thames, a fact which was to have a significant influence on his next, and most important work, Three Men in a Boat.

Jerome volunteered to serve his country at the outbreak of the war, but due to his age at the time (56), he was rejected by the English Army. Eager to serve in some capacity, he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the French Army. The war experience was said to have dampened his spirit, as no doubt was the death in 1921 of his stepdaughter Elsie.

In 1926, Jerome published his autobiography My Life and Times. Shortly afterwards, the Borough of Walsall conferred on him the title, Freeman of the Borough. In June of 1927 Jerome suffered a paralytic stroke and a cerebral hemorrhage. He lay in the hospital for two weeks before succumbing on June 14th. He was cremated at Golders Green, and buried at St Mary's Church, Ewelme, Oxfordshire. Elsie, Ettie, and his sister Blandina are buried there beside him. A museum dedicated to his life and works now exists at his birth home in Walsall.

This article from wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_K._Jerome for the full wikipedia article.


Books by Jerome K. Jerome on Riapress.com

Three Men in a Boat

By: Jerome K. Jerome


Three men, and Montmorency the dog, repair to a small boat for a dryly comical voyage down the Thames.


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The Diary of a Pilgrimage

By: Jerome K. Jerome




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The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

By: Jerome K. Jerome




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Three Men on a Bummel

By: Jerome K. Jerome




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Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

By: Jerome K. Jerome




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Novel Notes

By: Jerome K. Jerome





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Walden; and, Civil Disobedience

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