The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody

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The eternally hard-done-by Charles Pooter is one of the most timeless comic characters in English fiction-as alive and well in the real world today as he was when he first appeared in 1892. Mr. Pooter is a well-meaning Victorian clerk and one of London's growing army of lower-middle-class suburbanites set on improving their social standing. Aspiring to posterity, Mr. Pooter embarks on a diary. Throughout its pages, the accident-prone author is drawn into one petty confrontation after another: run-ins with idle tradesmen, insolent office juniors, and abusive neighbors, while simultaneously dealing with his wife's heedless indulgence in flights of fashion and the reckless antics of his son, Lupin. Pooter is a lovably absurd Everyman: quietly self-satisfied, intent on keeping up appearances, yet sublimely ignorant of his own pretensions and snobberies-shortcomings he is only too quick to see in others. His rose-tinted vision of himself is unwittingly exposed at every turn-to hilarious effect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504084529
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 03/28/2023
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 158
Sales rank: 24,060
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Peter Morton is Associate Professor of English at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

Table of Contents



George and Weedon Grossmith: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

The Diary of a Nobody

Appendix A: Contemporary Reviews

  1. From Baron de B.W. & Co., “Our Booking Office,” Punch, 103 (23 June 1892)
  2. From The Saturday Review, 74 (23 June 1892)
  3. From The Athenaeum (13 August 1892)
  4. From The Literary World, 46 (29 July 1892)
  5. From The Speaker, 6 (6 August 1892)
  6. From The New York Times (19 December 1892)
  7. Publisher’s Note to the “new edition” of 1910 (10 October 1910)
  8. From The Bookman [London], 39 (December 1910)
  9. From The Bookman [London], 57 (December 1919)
  10. From Xanthias, Queen’s Quarterly, 27 (1920)

Appendix B: The Clerk’s Lot in Life

  1. From Charles Edward Parsons, Clerks; Their Position and Advancement (1876)
  2. From The Clerk:A Sketch in Outline of His Duties and Discipline (1878)
  3. From Francis Davenant, Starting in Life: Hints for Parents on the Choice of a Profession or Trade for Their Sons (1881)
  4. From The Story of a London Clerk: A Faithful Narrative Faithfully Told (1896)
  5. From Charles Booth, ed., Life and Labour of the People in London (1896)
  6. From Robert White, “Wanted:A Rowton House for Clerks,” Nineteenth Century, 42 (October 1897)
  7. From Shan Bullock, Robert Thorne: The Story of a London Clerk (1907)

Appendix C: Domestic Economy at The Laurels

  1. From G.S. Layard, “A Lower Middle-Class Budget,” Cornhill Magazine, 10 (Jan–June 1901)

Appendix D: Suburban Fictions in the Wake of the Diary

  1. From R. Andom, Martha and I: Being Scenes from Our Suburban Life (1898)
  2. From W. Pett Ridge, Outside the Radius: Stories of a London Suburb (1899)
  3. From Barry Pain, Eliza (1900)
  4. From Keble Howard, The Smiths of Surbiton: A Comedy without a Plot (1906)

Appendix E: Séances in the Suburbs

  1. From Morell Theobald, Spirit Workers in the Home Circle (1887)
  2. From Florence Marryat, There Is No Death (1891)
  3. From Barry Pain, Eliza Getting On (1911)

Appendix F: Suburban Life and its Critics

  1. From Geoffrey Mortimer, The Blight of Respectability (1897)
  2. From H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (1898)
  3. From T.W.H. Crosland, The Suburbans (1905)
  4. From C.F.G. Masterman, In Peril of Change: Essays Written in Time of Tranquillity (1905)
  5. From C.F.G. Masterman, The Condition of England (1909)

Works Cited and Recommended Reading

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