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Biography of Jerome K Jerome

Photo of Jerome K Jerome

Jerome K Jerome was a nineteenth/twentieth century author best known for “Three Men in a Boat”.

When and Where was he Born?

2nd May 1859, Walsall, West Midlands, England.

Family Background:

Jerome Klapka Jerome was the son of the Reverend Jerome Clapp Jerome, a non conformist minister, and Marguerite Jones, the daughter of a Swansea solicitor.


Philological School, Lisson Grove, London. Marylebone Grammar School, London.

Timeline/Biography of Jerome K. Jerome:

1862: The Jerome family move to London after father lost money in his coal mining interests.

1871: Death of his father. The family then moves to Finchley, London.

1873: He starts work at the age of 14 as a Railway Clerk with the London North Western Railway at Euston. The death of his mother and Aunt made him an orphan and alone. He joins a local touring theatrical company and enjoys a little success.

1877: He returns penniless to London after acting with several touring companies. He becomes a journalist for a few months before taking up teaching in a school.

1885: Publication of Jerome. K. Jerome’s first major work “On Stage and Off”, a series of essays, in book form.

1886: He writes “Stageland”, articles for the magazine “The Playgoer”. “Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow” appears first in the journal “Home Chimes” before being published as a book.

1887: He writes the preface and one chapter for a work entitled “Humours of Cycling”.

1888: He has three plays presented in London which brings him some success. (“Sunset”, “Barbara” and “Pity is Akin to Love”). He marries Georgina Henrietta Stanley.

1889: “Three Men in A Boat” is published on which his name chiefly rests.

1890: Jerome goes on a tour of Germany and then publishes his story in “The Diary of a Pilgrimage”.

1891: He produces the play “Woodbarrow Farm” and publishes a book for Christmas entitled “Told after Supper”.

1892: He becomes one of the founders of “The Idler” Magazine with Robert Barr. He begins producing a series of plays each year until 1897.

1893: He starts his own Twopenny Weekly magazine called “To-Day”.

1897: A libel suit forces him to sell his interests in “To-Day”.

1900: “Three Men on the Bummel” is published recording events on a cycling trip across Germany.

1901: Jerome publishes “The Observations of Henry”.

1902: He writes “Paul Kelver”, his autobiographical novel.

1904: “Tommy Talk”, his second novel is published.

1908: He produces his play “The Passing of the Third Floor Back”.

1909: He publishes a novel “They and I”.

1911: He writes “The Master and Mrs Chilvers”, a play about women’s suffrage.

1914: He had his play “The Great Gamble” closed in London by German bombing.

1915: Jerome. K. Jerome joins the French Ambulance Corps during the First World War.

1916: He writes “Malvina of Brittany.

1917: He publishes “The Celebrity”, a successful comedy.

1919: Published a novel “All Roads lead to Calvary”.

1923: He publishes “Anthony John”, a novel about life in the industrial northeast of England.

1925: He has his short story “The Soul of Nicholas Snyders” dramatised.

1926: He publishes his memoirs “My Life and Times”.

1927: Jerome. K. Jerome is made an honorary Freeman of the Borough of Walsall, West Midlands.

When and Where did he Die?

14th June 1927 of a paralytic stroke and cerebral haemorrhage whilst traveling in Devon.

Age at Death:


Written Works:

1888: “On Stage and Off”, “Pity is Akin to Love”.
1889: “Three Men in a Boat”. “Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow.”
1892: “Three Men on the Bummel”.
1901: “The Observations of Henry”.
1902: “Paul Kelver”.
1904: “Tommy Talk”.
1907: “The Passing of the Third Floor Back”.
1909: “They and I”.
1911: “The Master and Mrs Chilvers”.
1914: “The Great Gamble”.
1916: “Malvina of Brittany”.
1917: “The Celebrity”.
1919: “All Roads Lead to Calvary”.
1923: “Anthony John”.
1925: “The Soul of Nicholas Snyders”.
1926: “My Life and Times”. (Autobiography).


1888 to Georgina Henrietta Stanley.

Site of Grave:

St. Mary’s Churchyard, Ewelm, Oxfordshire, England.

Places of Interest:


The British Library.


Walsall Museums.

Further Information:

Jerome K Jerome Society, C/O Fraser Wood, Maizo J Pindor, 15 Lichfield Street, Walsall, WS1 1TS.