2 May, 2021

Jerome Klapka Jerome – writer, playwright

Jerome Klapka Jerome was born on May 2, 1859 in Walsall (Staffordshire, UK). Father was unlucky in business, and the boy from the age of 14 made his way in life on his own.

What he didn’t have to visit before becoming a writer and editor! He was a clerk, teacher, solicitor’s assistant, artist, editor of humorous magazines. Only later did he become a permanent contributor to the satirical magazine Punch, and also edited the magazines Lazy and Segodnya in 1892-1897.

Jerome’s first works are associated with the theater. Jerome’s most popular work is the comic novel Three Men in a Boat, Not including a Dog (1889). The continuation of this work is the story “Three on a Bicycle” (1900). They fully reflect the original humor of the writer – good-natured, often with an admixture of sentimentality and moralization. His usual topic is the minor adversities of the hapless inhabitants.

Jerome visited Russia in 1899; He described his impressions in the article “The Russians as I Know Them” (published in Russian under the title “People of the Future”, 1906).

Among the author’s special successes should be noted “Sketches for a novel” (1893), “They and I” (1909) and some others. These works are marked by a more subtle description of heroes and events and are free from the author’s crude cartoon.

Jerome wrote not only novels and novellas, he is the author of many essays and short stories, humorous stories and plays, among which the most popular is The Resident of the Fourth Floor (1907). He knew well the life of the petty bourgeois and urban employees, and his favorite image is a ruined petty bourgeois, hoping to return what he has lost, to get rich, confident that sooner or later he will be rewarded for his virtues and sufferings.

Jerome’s books have been translated into many languages ​​of the world, including several times they were published in Russian.

During the First World War, Jerome tried to volunteer for the front, but due to his age in the British army he was refused. Eager to serve at least in some capacity, Jerome got a job as an ambulance driver in the French army.

In 1926, the writer published his memoirs “My Life and Epoch”. He was soon awarded the title of Walsall Resident of Honor. The last years of his life, Jerome spent most of his time in his country house in Evilma, near Wallingford.

In June 1927, Jerome suffered a stroke and was admitted to Northampton General Hospital, where he died on June 14, 1927. Jerome K. Jerome is buried at St Mary’s Church in Evilma, Oxfordshire.

In the city of Walsall, the Jerome House Museum was opened, the exposition of which is devoted to the life and work of the writer.