What Did w.w. Jacobs Study in College

What Did W.W. Jacobs Study in College?

William Wymark Jacobs, known as W.W. Jacobs, was a renowned English author best known for his short story collection “The Monkey’s Paw.” Born on September 8, 1863, in London, Jacobs had a keen interest in writing from an early age. However, his academic pursuits in college diverged from the literary realm.

Jacobs attended Birkbeck College, which is now a part of the University of London. He studied marine engineering, a discipline focused on the design, construction, and maintenance of ships and other marine vessels. This field of study equipped Jacobs with the technical knowledge and skills required to work in the maritime industry.

During his college years, Jacobs excelled in his studies and gained expertise in various aspects of marine engineering. This included topics such as naval architecture, ship propulsion systems, fluid mechanics, and marine materials. He likely spent significant time in laboratories and workshops, honing his practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge.

While it may seem surprising that someone with a background in marine engineering would go on to become a renowned author, Jacobs’ literary talents were not overshadowed by his technical training. His interest in writing persisted, and he began to contribute stories and articles to various magazines and newspapers, ultimately leading to his successful writing career.


Q: Why did W.W. Jacobs study marine engineering?
A: While the exact reasons behind his choice of study are not known, it is possible that Jacobs had an inherent interest in ships and the sea. Additionally, during the late nineteenth century, the maritime industry was booming, and studying marine engineering offered promising career prospects.

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Q: Did Jacobs ever work as a marine engineer?
A: There is no evidence to suggest that Jacobs pursued a career as a marine engineer after completing his studies. Instead, he focused on his passion for writing and became one of the most popular authors of his time.

Q: How did Jacobs’ background in marine engineering influence his writing?
A: Jacobs’ technical knowledge of ships and the sea often found its way into his stories. Many of his tales, including “The Monkey’s Paw” and “The Lady of the Barge,” feature maritime settings and themes. His understanding of the workings of ships and the challenges faced by sailors added depth and authenticity to his storytelling.

Q: Are there any other notable authors with a background in marine engineering?
A: While W.W. Jacobs may be a unique case, there have been authors with engineering backgrounds who ventured into writing. One example is Arthur C. Clarke, who studied mathematics and physics and later became a renowned science fiction writer.

Q: What is W.W. Jacobs’ most famous work?
A: Jacobs’ most famous work is undoubtedly “The Monkey’s Paw,” a chilling short story about a cursed monkey’s paw that grants its owner three wishes, but at a great cost. This story has become a classic in the horror genre and continues to be widely read and studied today.