`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.'
The Diary of a Nobody (1892) created a cultural icon, an English archetype. Anxious, accident-prone, occasionally waspish, Charles Pooter has come to be seen as the epitome of English suburban life. His diary chronicles encounters with difficult tradesmen, the delights of home improvements, small parties, minor embarrassments, and problems with his troublesome son. The suburban world he inhabits is hilariously and painfully familiar in its small-mindedness and its essential decency.
Both celebration and critique, The Diary of a Nobody has often been imitated, but never bettered. This edition features Weedon Grossmith's hilarious illustrations and is complemented by an enjoyable introduction discussing the book's social background and suburban fiction as a genre.
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Kate Flint is is Reader in Victorian and Modern English Literature and Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford. Her publications include The Woman Reader, 1837-1914 (1993) and many articles on early nineteenth and twentieth century fiction and art history.