The Diary of a Nobody

Serialised initially as a column in Punch magazine, The Diary of a Nobody has since become a cult classic. Cataloguing the quotidian events of lower-middle-class life towards the end of the Victorian period, this light-hearted yet acutely detailed account of Mr Pooter’s existence has never been out of print – and continues to attract new audiences.

About the author

George and Weedon Grossmith, after successful careers as an actor and an artist respectively, collaborated to produce this portrait of an aspirational young family living in a modest house in Holloway, North London.

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Why We Like It

  • Pooter’s diary is a hilarious blend of self-importance, pedantry and bad puns
  • A unique peephole on everyday 19th-century London life
  • “The funniest book in the world” – Evelyn Waugh

Most people would be content if they co-wrote a book that was still being read over a century after their death. But for the Grossmith brothers, The Diary of Nobody was something of an afterthought to their actual careers, which they pursued assiduously outside of their interest in literature. Born seven years apart, the brothers shared a love of the stage passed down to them by their father, also named George, who worked as a part-time entertainer. Weedon, the younger of the brothers, managed to eke out an existence as a respected – albeit poorly paid – artist, holding exhibitions at the Royal Academy and contributing illustrations to both Punch and the Art Journal. Eventually, wearied by the dismal financial returns for his art, he opted for a life on the stage, where he flourished, acting continuously for many years before turning his hand to writing plays and managing theatres. George spent his entire career performing in a mixture of guises: firstly as a comedic musician and then as a leading man in the comic operas of the day. He was regarded as one of the most successful comic performers of his generation.

How it works

The book will be delivered in instalments (or staves), one every day. The instalments are delivered to your Pigeonhole bookshelf on your IOS or Android app, plus you can read on our web reader. You will receive an email letting you know when each stave is available.

We believe that shared reading leads to new ideas and connections. That’s why we have a dynamic commenting system which allows in-text discussion between our readers. Post a comment and all your fellow readers will be able to respond. You can also choose to receive notifications (customise them here) when someone responds to your comment, or, additionally, whenever a comment is left in the book.

After the serialisation the full book will be available on your bookshelf and you can read it at your leisure.

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