Three Men in a Boat, 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 initially intended to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history along the route, but the humorous elements took over to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages seem a distraction to the 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 are based on Jerome himself (the narrator J.) and two real-life friends, George Wingrave (who went on to become a senior manager in Barclays Bank) and Carl Hentschel (the founder of a London printing business, called Harris in the book), with whom he often took boating trips. The dog, Montmorency, is entirely fictional but, "as Jerome admits, developed out of that area of inner consciousness which, in all Englishmen, contains an element of the dog." The trip is a typical boating holiday of the time in a Thames camping skiff. This was just after commercial boat traffic on the Upper Thames had died out, replaced by the 1880s craze for boating as a leisure activity.
Not so long ago, men were men. They spent their Sunday afternoons building things with their bare hands, they didn't pay someone else to change their oil, and they certainly didn't sip anything that was pink in colour, expensive and came in a cocktail glass. Then the modern world happened and, somehow, man was redefined...smoothed over...watered down. He became 1/10th man and 9/10th Calvin Klein Obsession cologne. Prowess was no longer about making the perfect jump shot, it was about Prada and prosecco. You can't blame men entirely; after all, "guy knowledge" isn't imprinted on the Y chromosome. Of course, neither is self-respect when you have to pay someone else to change your flat tire while you and your date stand on the side of the road. "How to Back Up a Trailer" is "real-guy-reference-guide" to over 100 skills every man should know or possess. AUTHOR: Kurt Anderson is a man's man who knows how to get it done. A monthly columnist for Family Handyman and regular contributor to Outdoor Life, Mr. Anderson knows how to handle himself in and outside the home. When he's not building a house from scratch, you can find him riding (and repairing) his motorcycle, fishing, hunting, canoeing, and fixing things he's managed to foul up.
Marine Trader Articles
Marine Trader Books