By the author of "Three Men in a Boat," "Three Men on the Bummel," "The Diary of a Pilgrimage," "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow," "Stage-Land," etc.
Jerome K. Jerome, noted British humorist, is best known for his 1889 comic travelogue, "Three Men in a Boat", still in print and widely read more than 120 years later. In 1877, nineteen-year-old Jerome set out to become an actor, and worked in that profession for the next three years, with little success. This account of those years is Jerome’s first published book. He takes us along as he first enters that strange unknown world of the theatre, and shares with us the happy times of jollity and triumph, the distress of looming poverty, the indignation at unscrupulous agents and company managers, the fun of silly pranks, and especially the humor to be found in some of the incongruous makeshifts used to mount and cast a production or costume the performers. It is written with subtle wry humor, laced with nostalgia and a bit of pathos, as befits the memoir of a fledgling actor struggling for success. (1885)
My stay in London had not been very profitable to me, but it had given my friends a treat, as they had been able to come and see me act again. At least, I suppose it was a treat to them, though they did not say so. My friends are always most careful never to overdo the thing in the matter of praise. I cannot accuse them of sycophancy. They scorn to say pleasant things that they don’t mean. They prefer saying unpleasant things that they do mean. There’s no humbug about them; they never hesitate to tell me just exactly what they think of me. This is good of them. I respect them for saying what they think; but if they would think a little differently, I should respect them still more. I wonder if everybody’s friends are as conscientious? I’ve heard of people having “admiring friends,” and “flattering friends,” and “over-indulgent friends,” but I’ve never had any of that sort myself. I’ve often thought I should rather like to, though, and if any gentleman has more friends of that kind than he wants, and would care to have a few of the opposite stamp, I am quite ready to swop with him. I can warrant mine never to admire or flatter under any circumstances whatsoever; neither will he find them over-indulgent. To a man who really wishes to be told of his faults, they would be invaluable; on this point, they are candour itself. A conceited man would also derive much benefit from their society. I have myself.
I debated whether to classify this as Biography, but I think it contains fictional elements.
This book seems to be quite rare as an ebook. I could not find a clean-text version, so text is based on OCR scan from Internet Archive (with many error corrections). Very heavily illustrated --- publisher's titlepage claims 100 illustrations, but I count 97; perhaps pages are missing from the scan. Illustrations include several decorated capitals; the"no-text-wrap" version replaces those with large caps, and centers all images.
EDIT-- uploaded v2, with format tweaks, layout changes.
Previous downloads regular version: 71
"no-text-wrap" version: 38
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