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Literature / The Diary Of A Nobody

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...looking like a second Marat...

Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see—because I do not happen to be a 'Somebody'—why my diary should not be interesting. My only regret is that I did not commence it when I was a youth.

A comic novel by George Grossmith with illustrations by his brother Weedon Grossmith, written in the form of a journal. It first appeared in 1888-89 as an occasional serial in Punch, and an expanded version appeared as a book in 1892.

Mr Charles Pooter, middle-aged Victorian Everyman and clerk in the City accounting house of Mr Perkupp, chronicles fifteen months in his life from the time he and his wife Carrie move into a new suburban house in North London. In that time the socially awkward Mr Pooter experiences mishaps, misunderstandings, insults and humiliations. He is taken advantage of, he worries about his terribly modern son and the fast company he keeps, and he is generally dogged by misfortune. It may be one of the funniest books ever written.

It has been staged and filmed many times, including a silent film version by Ken Russell and Mrs Pooter's Diary, a play telling the story from Mrs Pooter's point of view by Keith Waterhouse for Judi Dench and her husband Michael Williams.


This work provides examples of:

  • A Bloody Mess. Pooter buys some red enamel paint and is so impressed he paints the bath, amongst other things. Two days later when he takes a bath the paint melts in the hot water.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke. Mr Pooter likes to think of himself as a wit, but invariably mangles the joke by overelaborating.
    I said: “A very extraordinary thing has struck me.” “Something funny, as usual,” said Cummings. “Yes,” I replied; “I think even you will say so this time. It’s concerning you both; for doesn’t it seem odd that Gowing’s always coming and Cummings’ always going?”
  • Epistolary Novel. Told in the form of a diary.
  • Hangover Sensitivity.
  • Middle Name Basis. The Pooters' son prefers to be known by his middle name, Lupin.
  • Not a Morning Person. Lupin, to the dismay of his father.
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  • Punny Names. Mr Pooter's friends Cummings and Gowing, who tend to arrive at the house just as the other is leaving.

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