The Diary of a Nobody is an English comic novel written by the brothers George and Weedon Grossmith. Originally serialised in Punch magazine, it first appeared in book form in 1892. It records daily events in the lives of a London clerk, Charles Pooter, his family and numerous friends and acquaintances; most of its humour derives from Pooter’s unconscious and unwarranted sense of his own importance, and the frequency with which this delusion is punctured by gaffes and minor social humiliations. The daily routines and modest ambitions described in the Diary were recognised by contemporary readers, and provided later generations with glimpses of the past that it became fashionable to imitate. Before their collaboration the brothers had pursued successful stage careers, George as the principal comedian in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas for 12 years; Weedon had earlier trained as an artist and illustrator.
Although the Diary’s initial reception was muted, it grew in popularity and helped to establish a 20th-century genre of humorous popular fiction based on lower or lower-middle class aspirations. It has been the subject of several stage and screen adaptations.
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