Jerome Klapka Jerome was born in 1859 and was brought up in London. He started work as a railway clerk at fourteen, and later was employed as a schoolmaster, actor and journalist. He published two volumes of comic essays and in 1889 Three Men in a Boat. This was an instant success. His new-found wealth enabled him to become one of the founders of The Idler, a humorous magazine which published pieces by W W Jacobs, Bret Harte, Mark Twain and others. In 1900 he wrote a sequel, Three Men on the Bummel, which follows the adventures of the three protagonists on a walking tour through Germany. Jerome married in 1888 and had a daughter. He served as an ambulance driver on the Western Front during the First World War and died in 1927.