Three Men in a Boat
Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Three Men in a Boat. Description HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. What ensues is a hilarious journey through the English waterways full of anecdotes, and farcical incidents with Montmorency wreaking havoc along the way. Other books in this series.
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Three men in a boat
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Dom Joly's Holiday Snaps - Travel a Travel and Comedy in the Danger Zone! What follows is a passage of comic genius spun from nothing more — or less — than the banality of everyday life. Read it. This passage "a fearful battle" comes as the brilliant climax to chapter Three Men in a Boat is one of those rare classics that seems to come, as it were, out of nowhere, and to defy the odds. Jerome K Jerome later wrote a hit West End play, The Passing of the Third Floor Back , but he never recaptured the mood of careless comic joy that aerates the pages of his immortal masterpiece.
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Three Men in a Boat began life as a travel commission for the magazine Home Chimes. Its author later described what went wrong: "I did not know I was a humorist," he confessed.
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It seemed to be all 'humorous relief'. By grim determination I succeeded, before the end, in writing a dozen or so slabs of history and working them in, one to each chapter, and FW Robinson, who was publishing the book serially, promptly slung them out… From the beginning he had objected to the [since lost] title , and halfway through I hit upon Three Men in a Boat , because nothing else seemed right.
Jerome sold book publication rights to the Bristol publisher, JW Arrowsmith, who had been having a big success with a three-and-sixpenny single-volume series including work by Arthur Conan Doyle and Anthony Hope , a new phenomenon which had begun to supplant the great Victorian "three-decker" novels. The Education Act of had created a new mass readership, and Jerome was eager to reach this new audience. On publication, however, it seemed as if his cunning marketing plans had gone awry.
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He had not allowed for the critics. Jerome's fascination with bank clerks and "the lower orders" was denounced up and down. The Standard spoke of me as a menace to English letters; and the Morning Post as an example of the sad results to be expected from the over-education of the lower orders…". To be specific, the reviews ranged from the vitriolic to the merely hostile. The use of slang was condemned as "vulgar" and the book as a whole abused as a shameless appeal to "'Arrys and 'Arriets" — sneering critical terms for working-class Londoners.
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Typically, the reading public paid absolutely no attention. Three Men in a Boat went on selling in vast numbers, defying gravity. It was also promptly pirated by unscrupulous American publishers. In Britain, Arrowsmith told a friend: "I pay Jerome so much in royalties, I cannot imagine what becomes of all the copies of that book I issue. I often think the public must eat them.
The first edition appeared in August , and remained in print until March , when, after the sale of some , copies, a second edition appeared. In his introduction to this printing, Jerome states that he had probably sold another million pirated copies in America.