George and Weedon Grossmith were born in London in 1847 and 1852 respectively to a theatrical family who were friends with Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. George became a popular composer and performer of comic songs as well as a successful actor. Weedon trained as a painter at the Slade and the Royal Academy, but soon turned to acting like his brother.
The Diary of a Nobody began life as a series of columns the brothers wrote together for
Punch which they later expanded into a novel
. It was published in 1892, with Weedon's illustrations, to instant acclaim and has remained in print ever since. George died in 1912, followed by his brother in 1919.