Written as the diary of someone who would not normally merit a memoir but considers that he should have one written about him anyway, The Diary of a Nobody chronicles in agonizing but very funny detail everyday life in the lower middle class suburbs of Victorian England and the attempts of a social climber to better himself.
It was published in 1892. First published in the satirical magazine Punch as a serial between 1888 and 1889, with illustrations by the author’s brother, Weedon, The Diary of a Nobody did to late Victorian society what Alan Partridge has done for not-very-celebrated celebrities. The book coined the word Pooterism - the tendency to take oneself way too seriously - and helped to popularise a rather more familiar word from the name of one of its characters - Mr Murray Posh. But for all Mr Pooter’s petty snobbery and his tragic-comic social pretension, we love this character and even identify with him at some level, if we are honest with ourselves! This is the diary of someone who acknowledges that he is not a somebody but would dearly love to be!
Author George Grossmith (1847-1912) was born in London to a theatrical family. The comic genius which characterised his literary work was also evident in his approach to performance. He was noted for his ability to get laughs, sometimes at the expense of the show as a whole.