Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)
, published in 1889, is a humorous account by Jerome K. Jerome of a boating holiday on the Thames between Kingston and Oxford.
The book was intended initially to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history of places along the route, but the humorous elements eventually took over, to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages now seem like an unnecessary distraction to the essentially comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it appears to modern readers. The jokes seem fresh and witty even today.
The three men were based on (the un-named narrator), Jerome himself and two real-life friends, George Wingrave (who went on to become a senior manager in Barclays Bank) and Harris, who was in reality Carl Hentschel. The dog, Montmorency, however, was entirely fictional, but, as Jerome had remarked, "had much of me in it." The holiday was a typical boating holiday of the time, carried out in a Thames Camping Skiff.
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