'Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.'
Suffering from every malady in the book except housemaid's knee, three men and a dog decide to head for a restful vacation on the Thames. Anticipating peace and leisure, they encounter, in fact, the joys of roughing it, of getting their boat stuck in locks, of being towed by amateurs, of having to eat their own cooking and, of course, of coping with the glorious English weather.
Jerome K. Jerome was born in Walsall, Staffordshire in 1859, and educated at Marylebone Grammar School. He left school aged fourteen to become a railway clerk, the first of a long line of jobs which included acting, teaching and journalism. His first book On Stage and Off, a collection of humorous pieces about the theatre, was well received on its publication 1885 and was followed by The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1886), his most famous work, Three Men in a Boat (1890) and its sequel Three Men on the Bummel (1900). In 1892 Jerome, together with some friends, founded The Idler, an illustrated monthly magazine which gained a reputation for publishing humorous work. When the magazine folded, Jerome turned to the theatre again and became well-known as a playwright. He died in 1927.