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It is one of the best-loved books about the River Thames, first published in 1889 and still in print today.

Three Men in a Boat chronicles the adventures or more accurately the misadventures of three young men rowing the river.

Now journalist John Llewellyn (above) has written a fascinating companion to the Victorian classic - ‘Three Men went To Row – Fact and Fiction behind Jerome K Jerome’s Thames Classic’.

Thoroughly researched with an attention to detail you would expect from a journalist with a 30-year-long career on The Times behind him, John Llewellyn unearths intriguing facts about the book, its author and the Thames.

If you are fond of the 19th century classic, as the new book’s author clearly is, you will welcome this companion to the perennial favourite.

But it is more than just homage to the classic. John Llewellyn is a fount of knowledge about the Thames and its boats - long-time editor of The Boater, the magazine of the Thames Vintage Boat Club and known on the river as the owner of traditional boats.

His knowledge of and experience on the river is reflected in this book which is a fascinating read even if you are not a devotee of the Jerome K Jerome classic.

Certain aspects of the original sound familiar all these years later: concerns about over development along the riverbanks, rivalry between different river users. (John Llewellyn quotes a magazine in 1888 as saying there were 250 steamboats on the river “50 per cent of them objectionable”).

You would be forgiven for thinking everything that can be said about the Thames has already been chronicled n the numerous books, radio and television programmes devoted to it.

John Llewellyn proves you wrong by uncovering surprising facts and stories.

His book is packed with details about the locations in the original - some unchanged, most vastly so - and the real-life characters behind the three heroes. Peppered also with the author’s views and experiences on the river, Three Men Went to Row is a welcome addition to the Thames bookshelf.

  • Three Men Went to Row is published by Matador Books at £10.99 and is also available as an e-book.

Buy it - or the Jerome K Jerome original - below. And link to our BOOKS page HERE