‘But who wants to be foretold the weather? It is bad enough when it comes, without our having the misery of knowing about it beforehand. ’Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a T. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, maps and tins of pineapple chunks—not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J. ’s small fox terrier, Montmorency. Three Men in a Boat was an instant success when it appeared in 1889, and, with its benign escapism, authorial discursions and wonderful evocation of the late-Victorian ‘clerking classes’, it hilariously captured the spirit of its age.