Published by W. Arrowsmith, Bristol, and Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co. Limited, London in 1892, this is one of the great comic novels. It is difficult to confirm that this is a first edition because the half title is missing. There is only one advert flyleaf to the rear so it is possibly a second issue.
The black and white drawings, some full-page, are by Weedon Grossmith. There is an early inscription on the first page. The original brown and orange, illustrated boards are badly marked, rubbed and stained. The spine is also rubbed and is leaning. The corners are fraying and the binding is pulled. The top edge of the title page is missing. There has been repair to pages 188-123 which have been torn. The last page also has a corner torn away. The book block is yellowing, grubby and spotted in places.
George Grossmith (1847 -1912) was an English comedian, writer, composer, actor, and singer. His performing career spanned more than four decades. As a writer and composer, he created 18 comic operas, nearly 100 musical sketches, some 600 songs and piano pieces, three books and both serious and comic pieces for newspapers and magazines. Grossmith is now best remembered for two aspects of his career. First, he created a series of memorable characters in the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan from 1877 to 1889, including Sir Joseph Porter, in H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), the Major-General in The Pirates of Penzance (1880) and Ko-Ko in The Mikado (1885-87). Second, he wrote, in collaboration with his brother Weedon, the 1892 comic novel The Diary of a Nobody. Grossmith had collaborated with his brother Weedon Grossmith to expand a series of amusing columns they had written in 1888-89 for Punch to publish The Diary of a Nobody as a novel. The book is a sharp analysis of social insecurity, and Charles Pooter, the middle-aged, middle class "nobody," was immediately recognised as one of the great comic characters of English literature.