Authors: Jerome K. Jerome

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018

English novelist and playwright.

May 2, 1859

Walsall, England

June 14, 1927

Northampton, England

Biography

Jerome Klapka Jerome had to begin earning his own living at an early age. From the age of fourteen, he was a railway clerk, a teacher, an actor, and a newspaperman. His career as an actor led in 1885 to his first book, On the Stage—and Off: The Brief Career of a Would-be Actor, and his first play, Barbara, which was produced in 1886. Fame came to him with the publication of the comic novel Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), which made Jerome a popular author in England and abroad. During the 1880s he edited and published several periodicals, including The Idler, which he founded with Robert Barr in 1892, and To-Day, a weekly newspaper. He himself considered Paul Kelver his best novel.

Jerome K. Jerome.

By National Media Museum, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

Following the production of Barbara Jerome had no further success as a dramatist until long after he was established as a humorist and a novelist. His reputation as a playwright was, however, rekindled with The Passing of the Third Floor Back in 1908, which was followed by many others.

During World War I Jerome, despite his age, served as an ambulance driver for the French. After the war he returned to writing and produced, among other things, the memoir My Life and Times. He died during an automobile tour of England in 1927.

Author Works Long Fiction: Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889 Three Men on the Bummel, 1900 (also pb. as Three Men on Wheels) Paul Kelver, 1902 Tommy and Co, 1904 They and I, 1909 All Roads Lead to Calvary, 1919 Anthony John, 1923 Drama: Barbara, pr., pb. 1886 (one act) Woodbarrow Farm, pr. 1888 Miss Hobbs, pr. 1889 The Prude’s Progress, pr., pb. 1895 (with Eden Phillpotts) The MacHaggis, pr. 1897 (with Phillpotts) Susan in Search of a Husband, pr. 1906 (pb. as Robina in Search of a Husband, 1913) Fanny and the Servant Problem, pr. 1908 The Passing of the Third Floor Back, pr., pb. 1908 The Master of Mrs. Chilvers, pr., pb. 1911 Cook, pr. 1917 The Celebrity, 1926 The Soul of Nicholas Snyders, pb. 1927 Short Fiction: Told After Supper, 1891 John Ingerfield, and Other Stories, 1894 Sketches in Lavender, Blue, and Green, 1897 The Observations of Henry, 1901 The Passing of the Third Floor Back: And Other Stories, 1907 Malvina of Brittany, 1916 The Street of the Blank Wall and Other Stories, 1916 Nonfiction: On the Stage—and Off: The Brief Career of a Would-be Actor, 1885 The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, 1890 Diary of a Pilgrimage (and Six Essays), 1891 (illustrated by G. G. Fraser) The Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, 1898 The Angel and the Author—And Others, 1904 A Miscellany of Sense and Nonsense from the Writings of Jerome K. Jerome, 1923 My Life and Times, 1926 The Other Jerome K. Jerome, 1984 (Martin Green, editor) Bibliography Browning, D. C. Introduction to Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome. New York: Dutton, 1957. An excellent introduction to Jerome and his best-known novel. Connolly, Joseph. Jerome K. Jerome: A Critical Biography. London: Orbis, 1982. A full-length biography. A thorough overview of Jerome. Includes a good discussion of Three Men in a Boat. Includes an index and a five-page bibliography. De Vries, Peter. Introduction to Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome. 1964. Reprint. Alexandria, Va.: Time-Life Books, 1981. A well-written and insightful introduction by an accomplished novelist. Faurot, Ruth Marie. Jerome K. Jerome. New York: Twayne, 1974. A good, standard biography. Faurot, Ruth Marie. “Jerome K. Jerome.” In Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 34: British Novelists, 1890-1929, Traditionalists, edited by Thomas F. Staley. Detroit: Gale Research, 1984. An extended discussion of Jerome’s work and place in British letters. Jerome, Jerome K. A Miscellany of Sense and Nonsense from the Writings of Jerome K. Jerome. Gloucester, England: Alan Sutton, 1983. Jerome provides a good look into his own perspective on humorous writing. Jerome, Jerome K. My Life and Times. Gloucester, England: Alan Sutton, 1983. Jerome’s autobiography is well worth consulting for his own views and stories.

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