Diary of a Nobody
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Diary of a Nobody, an English comic novel written by George Grossmith and illustrated by his brother Weedon, first appeared in the magazine Punch in 1888 – 89, and was printed in book form in 1892. It is considered a classic work of humour.
The diary is that of Mr Charles Pooter, a city clerk of lower middle-class status but significant social aspirations, living in Upper Holloway. Other characters include his wife Carrie (Caroline), his son Lupin, his friends Mr Cummings and Mr Gowing, and Lupin's unsuitable fiancée, Daisy Mutlar. The humour derives from Pooter's unconscious gaffes and self-importance, as well as the snubs he receives from those he considers socially inferior (i.e. tradesmen). The book has spawned the word "Pooterish" to describe a tendency to take oneself excessively seriously.