Three Men in a Boat Chapter Summary

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Chapter 11
How George once woke up early in the morning accidentally
George, who is known for sleeping till late, cites an incident of waking up early one morning by chance. Once, his watch went out of order and the time it showed was quarter-past eight. Mistakenly, he woke up at three and rushed to get ready for work. Only when a policeman told him that it was just three o'clock in the morning, he realized his watch was showing the wrong time. George, Harris and Montmorency keep off the cold water

George, Harris and Montmorency keep away from the water as it is too cold and the wind is chilly. J, however, does not give in but he isn't very keen on getting into the water either. He thinks he would not throw the water over himself but accidentally slips in the mid-stream. J asks the other two to come in but without any success. Harris as a cook

Harris proposes to prepare scrambled eggs for breakfast. He says it is impossible for anyone to eat anything else after having the scrambled eggs prepared by him as he is quite famous for them. Eventually, he messes up everything. He has trouble breaking the eggs, getting them into the frying-pan; he even burns himself while he is near the stove. The result is altogether a dismal and burnt mess. Historical Contemplation

The lovely morning make them fantasise about the centuries gone long back. Narrator mentions about King John who had slept at Duncroft Hall. He speaks of the town of Staines where barons assembled before they met King John at Runningmede in 1215. The Barons slowly grate against the bank of the little island that from that day had been named Magna Charta Island. Chapter 12

Annoyance at being in the same house with a pair of lovers
Near the Picnic Point is Ankerwyke House which is known to be the place where Henry VIII used to wait for Anne Boleyn. Narrator expresses the irritation and awkwardness one feels when one is in the same house with a pair of lovers. He considers that the same would have been the plight of the English nation when Henry VIII used to court Anne Boleyn. Passing through Datchet

While passing Datchet, George asks J if he remembers their first trip up the river when they landed at Datchet. They had an awful experience because they were unable to find a decent place to stay.. Harris lost all hopes and was prepared to die. Finally, they had to stay at a place of the little boy whom they met on the road and considered him to be an angel. Yearning for mustard

They have almost reached Monkey Island when J feels the craving for mustard. They were not carrying mustard with them. Harris, too, craves for it. They feel gloomy and "existence seemed hollow and uninteresting." A battle with tin

All three of them were fond of pineapple. George draws out a tin of pineapple and they brighten up. But they do not have a knife to open it. From a pair of scissors to a sharp stone, they use everything but the tin does not open. It batters into such a shape that it ultimately shows a 'mocking grin'. Harris throws it far into the middle of the river in frustration. Moving ahead

They reach Maidenhead and do not consider it to be pleasant as it was too snobby. It was a town of "showy hotels, patronized chiefly by dudes and ballet girls." Then they reach Cookham, have tea and feel lucky as the wind is at their backs. Sailing - a sensation

Narrator considers sailing a task that makes one a part of Nature. "Your spirit is at one with hers; your limbs grow light! The voices of the air are singing to you." They come across three fishermen who were 'solemn-looking men'. Somehow, the fishers do not like their presence. Chapter 13

Bisham Abbey
The three cross Marlow, one of the 'pleasantest river centres'. The narrator gives a brief history of Marlow. They reach the grand old Bisham Abbey which was once the home of Anne of Cleves at the time of Queen Elizabeth. Warwick (an English statesman who fought the War of the Roses) also rested there. It was under the Bisham...
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