Jerome Klapka Jerome was born on 2nd May, 1859 in Belsize House, Bradford Street, Walsall, and Stradffordshire, England. He was born to father Jerome Clapp Jerome and mother Marguerite Jones. While his father was a non-conformist lay preacher, ironmonger and architect by profession and his mother was a daughter of a solicitor. Jerome was their fourth child. He had two sisters, Paulina Deodata, Blandina Dominica and Brother Milton Melancthon. Jerome lost his father at an early age of fourteen.
Initially Jerome was registered as Jerome Clap Jerome and later his name was amended as Klapka. Jerome faced a lot of poverty due to bad investment in the local mining industry and debt collectors were frequent visitors in their house. Jerome later described his experiences of childhood in his autobiography My Life and Times (1926).
His writing career started with his collection of humorous essays Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow published in 1886. Jerome wrote his most famous work of literature Three Men in a Boat after his return from his honeymoon on a boat in river Thames. Soon after it’s publication in 1889 it went on to become an instant hit. The two main Protagonists in the novel were replaced by his friends George Wingrave (George) and Carl Hentschel (Harris). He created a comic situation in the book which was no way related or remotely connected to the history of the Thames region. With its publication, the number of boats went upto fifty percent following its publication. Within twenty years, the book sold over a million copies and was later adapted to movies, TV and radio shows, stage plays, and even a musical. His style of writing influenced many humorists and satirists in England. Later, he went on to write many plays, novels and essay but they were not as successful as his book Three Men in a Boat. In 1892, he edited the Idler. In 1893, he founded To-Day but had to stop its publication because of an ongoing financial crisis and a libel suit against him. In 1898, during his short stay at Germany, he wrote Three Men on the Bummel which was a sequel to Three Men in a Boat. In 1902, he published the novel, Paul Kelver, which is considered an autobiographical and wrote the play The Passing of the Third Floor Back in 1908.Jerome published his autobiography, My Life and Times in 1926. The Borough of Walsall gave him the title Freeman of the Borough.